Private Equity Performance: What Do We Know?
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.