Style Drift in Private Equity

34 Pages Posted: 13 Oct 2009

See all articles by Douglas J. Cumming

Douglas J. Cumming

Florida Atlantic University

Grant Fleming

Continuity Capital Partners

Armin Schwienbacher

SKEMA Business School

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: 2009-01


We introduce the concept of style drift to private equity investment. We present theory and evidence pertaining to style drifts in terms of a fund manager's stated focus on particular stages of entrepreneurial development. We develop a model that derives conditions under which style drifts are less likely among younger fund managers. We also show ways in which changes in market conditions can affect style drifts, and differences for funds committed to early-stage investments compared to funds committed to late-stage investments. We find some evidence of a positive relation between style drifting and investment performance.

Suggested Citation

Cumming, Douglas J. and Fleming, Grant Alan and Schwienbacher, Armin, Style Drift in Private Equity (2009-01). Journal of Business Finance & Accounting, Vol. 36, Issue 5-6, pp. 645-678, June/July 2009, Available at SSRN: or

Douglas J. Cumming (Contact Author)

Florida Atlantic University ( email )

777 Glades Rd
Boca Raton, FL 33431
United States


Grant Alan Fleming

Continuity Capital Partners ( email )

GPO Box 314
Canberra, Australian Capital Territory 2601

Armin Schwienbacher

SKEMA Business School ( email )

Avenue Willy Brandt
Euralille, 59777


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