The Private Equity Pitch | Summary and Q&A

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September 28, 2022
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Ben Felix
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The Private Equity Pitch

TL;DR

Private equity investments may not provide the expected returns and diversification benefits often claimed by proponents of the asset class.

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Key Insights

  • ๐ŸŽ Private equity performance is often presented using metrics like IRR, which can be easily manipulated and are not comparable to traditional investment returns.
  • ๐ŸŽญ The best-performing venture capital funds have limited capacity and exclusive access, making them inaccessible to most investors.
  • โ†ฉ๏ธ Private equity returns, after fees, have been similar to public equity returns since 2006. Dispersion in fund returns highlights the importance of selecting managers in private equity.
  • ๐Ÿ›๏ธ Illiquidity in private equity may not provide the expected premium or diversification benefits claimed by proponents of the asset class.
  • ๐Ÿคจ Reported private equity returns can be influenced by selective timing of fund raises and asset valuation manipulation.

Transcript

huge amounts of capital have been flowing into private Equity even Vanguard the hero of low-cost index investors everywhere has started making private Equity available to some of its customers according to Vanguard private equities significant illiquidity and market dynamics provide suitable investors the opportunity to earn long-term excess return... Read More

Questions & Answers

Q: What are the main segments of private equity?

Private equity can be categorized into buyouts and venture capital. Buyouts involve investments in later-stage companies, while venture capital focuses on early-stage companies.

Q: How is private equity performance evaluated?

Traditional metrics like IRR can be misleading. Other metrics, such as the multiple of money and the public market equivalent (PME), are used to assess private asset performance and compare it to benchmark indexes.

Q: Do private equity investments offer higher returns?

The 2014 study suggests that buyout and venture capital funds have generated excess returns of over 3% per year compared to the S&P 500. However, the choice of benchmark index can influence performance results.

Q: Is private equity a diversified asset class?

Private equity may appear to offer diversification due to its illiquid nature and infrequent valuation. However, cost-based accounting methods can create an illusion of diversification, while the underlying economic risk exposures remain similar to public equities.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • Private equity, including buyouts and venture capital, has seen a surge of capital due to the promise of higher returns and diversification.

  • Evaluating private equity performance is challenging, with metrics like internal rate of return (IRR) not comparable to traditional investment returns.

  • Studies show that while there is evidence of persistence in venture capital funds, access to the best-performing funds is limited, making the asset class unattractive for most investors.

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