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Limited partner performance and the maturing of the private equity industry

  • Sensoy, Berk A.
  • Wang, Yingdi
  • Weisbach, Michael S.

We evaluate the performance of limited partners׳ (LPs׳) private equity investments over time. Using a sample of 14,380 investments by 1,852 LPs in 1,250 buyout and venture capital funds started between 1991 and 2006, we find that the superior performance of endowment investors in the 1991–1998 period, documented by prior literature, is mostly due to their greater access to the top-performing venture capital partnerships. In the subsequent 1999–2006 period, endowments no longer outperform, no longer have greater access to funds that are likely to restrict access, and do not make better investment selections than other types of institutional investors. Nevertheless, all investor types׳ private equity investments continue to outperform public markets on average. We discuss how these results are consistent with the general maturing of the industry, as private equity has transitioned from a niche, poorly understood area to a ubiquitous part of institutional investors׳ portfolios.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Financial Economics.

Volume (Year): 112 (2014)
Issue (Month): 3 ()
Pages: 320-343

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jfinec:v:112:y:2014:i:3:p:320-343
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505576

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  1. Kaplan, Steven, 1989. "The effects of management buyouts on operating performance and value," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(2), pages 217-254.
  2. Jonathan B. Berk & Richard C. Green, 2002. "Mutual Fund Flows and Performance in Rational Markets," FAME Research Paper Series rp100, International Center for Financial Asset Management and Engineering.
  3. Josh Lerner & Antoinette Schoar & Wan Wongsunwai, 2007. "Smart Institutions, Foolish Choices: The Limited Partner Performance Puzzle," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 62(2), pages 731-764, 04.
  4. Yael V. Hochberg & Alexander Ljungqvist & Annette Vissing-Jørgensen, 2014. "Informational Holdup and Performance Persistence in Venture Capital," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 27(1), pages 102-152, January.
  5. Ayako Yasuda & Andrew Metrick, 2007. "The economics of private equity funds," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Oct.
  6. Shourun Guo & Edith S. Hotchkiss & Weihong Song, 2011. "Do Buyouts (Still) Create Value?," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 66(2), pages 479-517, 04.
  7. Kaplan, Steve & Schoar, Antoinette, 2004. "Private Equity Performance: Returns, Persistence and Capital Flows," Working papers 4446-03, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
  8. Gompers, Paul & Lerner, Josh, 1999. "An analysis of compensation in the U.S. venture capital partnership," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(1), pages 3-44, January.
  9. Josh Lerner & Antoinette Schoar & Jialan Wang, 2008. "Secrets of the Academy: The Drivers of University Endowment Success," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 22(3), pages 207-22, Summer.
  10. Chung, Ji-Woong & Sensoy, Berk A. & Stern, Lea H. & Weisbach, Michael S., 2010. "Pay for Performance from Future Fund Flows: The Case of Private Equity," SIFR Research Report Series 77, Institute for Financial Research.
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