Private Company Valuations by Mutual Funds

51 Pages Posted: 8 Nov 2017 Last revised: 25 Dec 2018

See all articles by Vikas Agarwal

Vikas Agarwal

Georgia State University; University of Cologne - Centre for Financial Research (CFR)

Brad M. Barber

University of California, Davis

Si Cheng

Chinese University of Hong Kong - Department of Finance

Allaudeen Hameed

National University of Singapore (NUS) - Department of Finance

Ayako Yasuda

University of California, Davis - Graduate School of Management

Date Written: December 21, 2018

Abstract

We study how cross-sectional and temporal variation in valuation practice of private start-up holdings by mutual funds affects investors’ access to these pre-IPO firms. Price dispersion across fund families holding the same security averages 10.0%, and is as large as 25% in some quarters. 42% of reported prices are not updated between quarters but large valuation changes occur when startups close a new funding round. Thus, follow-on rounds lead to predictably strong fund returns in the days after the event. Fund families tend to allocate private securities to their best performers and high-fee funds. Moreover, fund managers with incentives to boost periodic returns mark up their private securities more aggressively after the year-end follow-on rounds. We also find weak evidence of strategic return smoothing with lower incidence of markdowns of private securities in bear markets.

Keywords: Mutual funds, Venture capital, Entrepreneurial firm, Private valuation, Stale prices

JEL Classification: G23, G24, G32, M13

Suggested Citation

Agarwal, Vikas and Barber, Brad M. and Cheng, Si and Hameed, Allaudeen and Yasuda, Ayako, Private Company Valuations by Mutual Funds (December 21, 2018). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3066449 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3066449

Vikas Agarwal

Georgia State University ( email )

35 Broad Street,
Suite 1221
Atlanta, GA 30303-3083
United States
404-413-7326 (Phone)
404-413-7312 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.gsu.edu/~fncvaa

University of Cologne - Centre for Financial Research (CFR)

Albertus-Magnus Platz
Cologne, 50923
Germany

Brad M. Barber

University of California, Davis ( email )

Graduate School of Management
One Shields Avenue
Davis, CA 95616
United States
530-752-0512 (Phone)
530-752-2924 (Fax)

Si Cheng

Chinese University of Hong Kong - Department of Finance ( email )

12/F, Cheng Yu Tung Building
No.12, Chak Cheung Street
Shatin, N.T.
Hong Kong

HOME PAGE: http://www.bschool.cuhk.edu.hk/index.php/faculty-staff/show-alltest?pid=496&sid=3939:Cheng-Si

Allaudeen Hameed

National University of Singapore (NUS) - Department of Finance ( email )

Mochtar Riady Building
15 Kent Ridge Drive
Singapore, 119245
Singapore

HOME PAGE: http://www.bschool.nus.edu.sg/staff_profile/cv.asp?ID=3

Ayako Yasuda (Contact Author)

University of California, Davis - Graduate School of Management ( email )

One Shields Avenue
Davis, CA 95616
United States
530-752-0775 (Phone)
530-752-2924 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.ayakoyasuda.com

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