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Private Equity Performance: What Do We Know?

43 Pages Posted: 23 Sep 2011 Last revised: 30 Jul 2013

Robert S. Harris

University of Virginia - Darden School of Business

Tim Jenkinson

University of Oxford - Said Business School; European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI)

Steven N. Kaplan

University of Chicago - Booth School of Business; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: July 2013

Abstract

We study the performance of nearly 1400 U.S. buyout and venture capital funds using a new dataset from Burgiss. We find better buyout fund performance than has previously been documented – performance consistently has exceeded that of public markets. Outperformance versus the S&P 500 averages 20% to 27% over a fund’s life and more than 3% annually. Venture capital funds outperformed public equities in the 1990s, but underperformed in the 2000s. Our conclusions are robust to various indices and risk controls. Performance in Cambridge Associates and Preqin is qualitatively similar to that in Burgiss, but is lower in Thomson Venture Economics.

Keywords: Private Equity, Venture Capital

JEL Classification: G2, G11

Suggested Citation

Harris, Robert S. and Jenkinson, Tim and Kaplan, Steven N., Private Equity Performance: What Do We Know? (July 2013). Journal of Finance, Forthcoming; Fama-Miller Working Paper; Chicago Booth Research Paper No. 11-44; Darden Business School Working Paper No. 1932316. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1932316 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1932316

Robert S. Harris

University of Virginia - Darden School of Business ( email )

P.O. Box 6550
Charlottesville, VA 22906-6550
United States
434-924-4823 (Phone)
434-924-4859 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.darden.virginia.edu/faculty/harris.htm

Tim Jenkinson

University of Oxford - Said Business School ( email )

Park End Street
Oxford, OX1 1HP
United Kingdom
+44 1865 288916 (Phone)
+44 1865 288831 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.sbs.oxford.edu/timjenkinson

European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI)

c/o ECARES ULB CP 114
B-1050 Brussels
Belgium

HOME PAGE: http://www.ecgi.org

Steven Neil Kaplan (Contact Author)

University of Chicago - Booth School of Business ( email )

5807 S. Woodlawn Avenue
Chicago, IL 60637
United States
773-702-4513 (Phone)
773-702-0458 (Fax)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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