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The Performance of Private Equity Funds

  • Ludovic Phalippou
  • Oliver Gottschalg

The performance of private equity funds as reported by industry associations and previous research is overstated. A large part of performance is driven by inflated accounting valuation of ongoing investments and we find a bias toward better performing funds in the data. We find an average net-of-fees fund performance of 3% per year below that of the S&P 500. Adjusting for risk brings the underperformance to 6% per year. We estimate fees to be 6% per year. We discuss several misleading aspects of performance reporting and some side benefits as a first step toward an explanation. The Author 2008. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The Society for Financial Studies. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oxfordjournals.org., Oxford University Press.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1093/rfs/hhn014
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Article provided by Society for Financial Studies in its journal The Review of Financial Studies.

Volume (Year): 22 (2009)
Issue (Month): 4 (April)
Pages: 1747-1776

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Handle: RePEc:oup:rfinst:v:22:y:2009:i:4:p:1747-1776
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  1. Paul Gompers & Josh Lerner, 1998. "Venture Capital Distributions: Short-Run and Long-Run Reactions," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 53(6), pages 2161-2183, December.
  2. Jacklin, Charles J & Bhattacharya, Sudipto, 1988. "Distinguishing Panics and Information-Based Bank Runs: Welfare and Policy Implications," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(3), pages 568-92, June.
  3. Alexander Ljungqvist & Matthew Richardson, 2003. "The cash flow, return and risk characteristics of private equity," NBER Working Papers 9454, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Diamond, Douglas W & Dybvig, Philip H, 1983. "Bank Runs, Deposit Insurance, and Liquidity," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 91(3), pages 401-19, June.
  5. Josh Lerner & Antoinetter Schoar, 2002. "The Illiquidity Puzzle: Theory and Evidence from Private Equity," NBER Working Papers 9146, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Thomas Hellman & Laura Lindsey & Manju Puri, 2004. "Building Relationships Early: Banks in Venture Capital," NBER Working Papers 10535, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Josh Lerner & Antoinette Schoar & Wan Wong, 2005. "Smart Institutions, Foolish Choices? The Limited Partner Performance Puzzle," NBER Working Papers 11136, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  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. Steven Kaplan & Antoinette Schoar, 2003. "Private Equity Performance: Returns, Persistence and Capital," NBER Working Papers 9807, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Barton H. Hamilton, 2000. "Does Entrepreneurship Pay? An Empirical Analysis of the Returns to Self-Employment," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 108(3), pages 604-631, June.
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