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The Economics of Private Equity Funds

  • Andrew Metrick

This article analyzes the economics of the private equity industry using a novel model and dataset. We obtain data from a large investor in private equity funds, with detailed records on 238 funds raised between 1993 and 2006. We build a model to estimate the expected revenue to managers as a function of their investor contracts, and we test how this estimated revenue varies across the characteristics of our sample funds. Among our sample funds, about two-thirds of expected revenue comes from fixed-revenue components that are not sensitive to performance. We find sharp differences between venture capital (VC) and buyout (BO) funds. BO managers build on their prior experience by increasing the size of their funds faster than VC managers do. This leads to significantly higher revenue per partner and per professional in later BO funds. The results suggest that the BO business is more scalable than the VC business and that past success has a differential impact on the terms of their future funds. The Author 2010. 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/hhq020
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Article provided by Society for Financial Studies in its journal The Review of Financial Studies.

Volume (Year): 23 (2010)
Issue (Month): 6 (June)
Pages: 2303-2341

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Handle: RePEc:oup:rfinst:v:23:y:2010:i:6:p:2303-2341
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  1. Ludovic Phalippou & Oliver Gottschalg, 2009. "The Performance of Private Equity Funds," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 22(4), pages 1747-1776, April.
  2. Chordia, Tarun, 1996. "The structure of mutual fund charges," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(1), pages 3-39, May.
  3. Hellmann, Thomas F. & Puri, Manju, 2000. "Venture Capital and the Professionalization of Start-up Firms: Empirical Evidence," Research Papers 1661, Stanford University, Graduate School of Business.
  4. Oliver Gottschalg & L. Phalippou, 2006. "The Performance of Private Equity Funds," Post-Print halshs-00125912, HAL.
  5. Cao, Jerry & Lerner, Josh, 2009. "The performance of reverse leveraged buyouts," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(2), pages 139-157, February.
  6. Malkiel, Burton & Campbell, John & Lettau, Martin & Xu, Yexiao, 2001. "Have Individual Stocks Become More Volatile? An Empirical Exploration of Idiosyncratic Risk," Scholarly Articles 3128707, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  7. Ulf Axelson & Per Strömberg & Michael S. Weisbach, 2009. "Why Are Buyouts Levered? The Financial Structure of Private Equity Funds," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 64(4), pages 1549-1582, 08.
  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.
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  13. William N. Goetzmann & Jonathan E. Ingersoll, Jr. & Stephen A. Ross, 2004. "High Water Marks," Yale School of Management Working Papers ysm22, Yale School of Management.
  14. Yael V. Hochberg & Alexander Ljungqvist & Yang Lu, 2007. "Whom You Know Matters: Venture Capital Networks and Investment Performance," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 62(1), pages 251-301, 02.
  15. Susan Christoffersen & David K. Musto, 1999. "Demand Curves and the Pricing of Money Management," Center for Financial Institutions Working Papers 99-31, Wharton School Center for Financial Institutions, University of Pennsylvania.
  16. Oliver Gottschalg & L. Phalippou, 2006. "The Performance of Private Equity Funds," Post-Print halshs-00120987, HAL.
  17. David H. Hsu, 2004. "What Do Entrepreneurs Pay for Venture Capital Affiliation?," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 59(4), pages 1805-1844, 08.
  18. Hellmann, Thomas & Puri, Manju, 2000. "The Interaction between Product Market and Financing Strategy: The Role of Venture Capital," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 13(4), pages 959-84.
  19. Susan E. K. Christoffersen, 2001. "Why Do Money Fund Managers Voluntarily Waive Their Fees?," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 56(3), pages 1117-1140, 06.
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