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What Determines the Size of Private Equity Firms?


  • Florian Willert
  • Dodo zu Knyphausen-Aufsess


Although private equity is considered a maturing industry, its players have remained tiny boutiques. We investigate the nature of the drivers and inhibitors of firm growth in the private equity industry. We present the results of a survey on size patterns of European private equity firms. Based on case studies on buyout and venture capital (VC) firms from our sample and a business model concept, we derive three propositions that highlight the importance of the characteristics of the services provided, the decision process, and the metrics of economic return as determinants of firm size.

Suggested Citation

  • Florian Willert & Dodo zu Knyphausen-Aufsess, 2008. "What Determines the Size of Private Equity Firms?," Schmalenbach Business Review (sbr), LMU Munich School of Management, vol. 60(1), pages 32-49, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:sbr:abstra:v:60:y:2008:i:1:p:32-49

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    Buyout; Economies of Scale; Firm Size; Private Equity; Venture Capital;

    JEL classification:

    • G24 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Investment Banking; Venture Capital; Brokerage
    • L25 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Firm Performance


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