A Challenging Validation, “a contrario”

Over the past two weeks, the conversation and the exchange of emails with a highly reputable and quant skilled professional in the private equity industry have posed an interesting intellectual challenge and created a very useful opportunity for testing “a contrario” the DaRC methodology and for discussing the relation between duration and time horizon. Continue reading

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The PE S-Curve, Dug Out

There are a couple of concepts that qualify a discovery – even if just stumbled upon: novelty and usefulness. With respect to private equity, the S-Curve adds the notion of decreasing marginal returns to improve the mainstream J-Curve notion, and this clears novelty. What’s left now is to dig out its usefulness. Continue reading

No Liquidity without Price

The title of last week’s PEI‘s Friday Letter, “No Dice without Liquidity”, identifies the critical element determining the reported decision of KKR to stop promoting two retail products. Continue reading

Why IRR, PME Induce Inaccurate Allocation Decisions

In one of my previous posts, I wrote about the importance of time – of correctly framing time – for purposes of comparability and pricing. The topic is so critical not to require a second round that adds more details and practical implications. Continue reading

The Price of Private Funds Is Less Wrong

If Prof. Malkiel had taken his “Random Walkin Midtown Manhattan, the private capital industry’s enclave, he could have found that prices can be “less wrong” there than down Wall Street – to a level that could offer, over the life of a private fund, reasonable arbitrage opportunities but not without risk. Continue reading

Private Capital Beta: Theory Reloaded

In a recent Financial Analyst Journal article titled “Do (Some) University Endowments Earn Alpha?” the authors find that endowments mostly fail to deliver alpha and what looks as alpha can be almost totally explained by the inclusion of alternative investments in a static asset allocation. Digging further, the authors find that there is no strong statistical evidence of selection skill relating to the private equity and hedge fund portfolios. Continue reading