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Private Equity Performance: Returns, Persistence and Capital

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  • Steven Kaplan
  • Antoinette Schoar

Abstract

This paper investigates the performance of private equity partnerships using a data set of individual fund returns collected by Venture Economics. Over the sample period, average fund returns net of fees approximately equal the S\&P 500 although there is a large degree of heterogeneity. Returns persist strongly across funds raised by individual private equity partnerships. Better performing funds are more likely to raise follow-on funds and raise larger funds than funds that perform poorly. This relationship is concave so that top performing funds do not grow proportionally as much as the average fund. Finally, market entry in private equity is cyclical. Funds (and partnerships) started in boom times are less likely to raise follow-on funds, suggesting that these funds subsequently perform worse. Several of these results differ markedly from those for mutual funds.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 9807.

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Date of creation: Jun 2003
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Publication status: published as Kaplan, Steven and Antoinette Schoar. “Private Equity Performance: Returns, Persistence and Capital Flows." Journal of Finance 60 (August 2005).
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:9807

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  1. Steven N. Kaplan & Per Strömberg, 2000. "Financial Contracting Theory Meets the Real World: An Empirical Analysis of Venture Capital Contracts," CRSP working papers 513, Center for Research in Security Prices, Graduate School of Business, University of Chicago.
  2. Tobias J. Moskowitz & Annette Vissing-Jorgensen, 2002. "The Returns to Entrepreneurial Investment: A Private Equity Premium Puzzle?," NBER Working Papers 8876, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Jonathan B. Berk & Richard C. Green, 2002. "Mutual Fund Flows and Performance in Rational Markets," NBER Working Papers 9275, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Cochrane, John, 2000. "The Risk and Return of Venture Capital," University of California at Los Angeles, Anderson Graduate School of Management qt7qm9h594, Anderson Graduate School of Management, UCLA.
  5. Erik R. Sirri & Peter Tufano, 1998. "Costly Search and Mutual Fund Flows," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 53(5), pages 1589-1622, October.
  6. Tobias J. Moskowitz & Annette Vissing-Jørgensen, 2002. "The Returns to Entrepreneurial Investment: A Private Equity Premium Puzzle?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(4), pages 745-778, September.
  7. Khorana, Ajay & Servaes, Henri, 1999. "The Determinants of Mutual Fund Starts," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 12(5), pages 1043-74.
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