In light of recent market volatility, Neuberger Berman’s Private Equity and Institutional Solutions teams analyzed historical private equity performance during two recent periods of market distress. We performed this analysis to gain perspective on current conditions with the understanding that the dynamics behind COVID-19-related volatility may be quite different from the past. Focusing on the major economic downturn of the early 2000s and the 2007 – 09 global financial crisis, we found that private equity historically experienced a less significant drawdown, and a quicker recovery, than public equities in both cases. We also noted a lag in the slowing of capital calls and a more immediate drop in distributions, both of which resumed as the economy and public markets regained their footing. Our findings are detailed in this Insights article.Download PDF
RISK CONSIDERATIONS RELATING TO PRIVATE EQUITY FUNDS
Prospective investors should be aware that an investment in any private equity fund is speculative and involves a high degree of risk that is suitable only for those investors who have the financial sophistication and expertise to evaluate the merits and risks of such investment and for which the investment does not represent a complete investment program. An investment should only be considered by persons who can afford a loss of their entire investment. This material is not intended to replace any the materials that would be provided in connection with an investor’s consideration to invest in an actual private equity fund, which would only be done pursuant to the terms of a confidential private placement memorandum and other related material. Prospective investors are urged to consult with their own tax and legal advisors about the implications of investing in a private equity strategy, including the risks and fees of such an investment.
You should consider the risks inherent with investing in private equity funds:
Market Conditions: Private equity strategies are based, in part, upon the premise that investments will be available for purchase at prices considered favorable. To the extent that current market conditions change or change more quickly anticipated investment opportunities may cease to be available. There can be no assurance or guarantee that investment objectives will be achieved, that the past, targeted or estimated results be achieved or that investors will receive any return on their investments. Performance may be volatile. An investment should only be considered by persons who can afford a loss of their entire investment.
Legal, Tax and Regulatory Risks: Legal, tax and regulatory changes (including changing enforcement priorities, changing interpretations of legal and regulatory precedents or varying applications of laws and regulations to particular facts and circumstances) could occur that may adversely affect a private equity strategy.
Default or Excuse: If an Investor defaults on or is excused from its obligation to contribute capital to a private equity fund, other Investors may be required to make additional contributions to replace such shortfall. In addition, an Investor may experience significant economic consequences should it fail to make required capital contributions.
Leverage: Investments in underlying portfolio companies whose capital structures may have significant leverage. These companies may be subject to restrictive financial and operating covenants. The leverage may impair these companies’ ability to finance their future operations and capital needs. The leveraged capital structure of such investments will increase the exposure of the portfolio companies to adverse economic factors such as rising interest rates, downturns in the economy or deteriorations in the condition of the portfolio company or its industry.
Highly Competitive Market for Investment Opportunities: The activity of identifying, completing and realizing attractive investments is highly competitive, and involves a high degree of uncertainty. There can be no assurance or guarantee that a private equity strategy will be able to locate, consummate and exit investments that satisfy rate of return objectives or realize upon their values or that it will be able to invest fully its committed capital.
Reliance on Key Management Personnel: The success of a private equity strategy may depend, in large part, upon the skill and expertise of investment professionals that manage the strategy.
Limited Liquidity: There is no organized secondary market for investors in most private equity funds, and none is expected to develop. There are typically also restrictions on withdrawal and transfer of interests.
Epidemics, Pandemics, Outbreaks of Disease and Public Health Issues: Private equity funds’ operations and investments could be materially adversely affected by outbreaks of disease, epidemics and public health issues in Asia, Europe, North America, the Middle East and/or globally, such as COVID-19 (and other novel coronaviruses), Ebola, H1N1 flu, H7N9 flu, H5N1 flu, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, or SARS, or other epidemics, pandemics, outbreaks of disease or public health issues. In particular, coronavirus, or COVID-19, has spread and is currently spreading rapidly around the world since its initial emergence in December 2019 and has negatively affected (and will likely continue to negatively affect or materially impact) the global economy, global equity markets and supply chains (including as a result of quarantines and other government-directed or mandated measures or actions to stop the spread of outbreaks). Although the long-term effects of coronavirus, or COVID-19 (and the actions and measures taken by governments around the world to halt the spread of such virus), cannot currently be predicted, previous occurrences of other epidemics, pandemics and outbreaks of disease, such as H5N1, H1N1 and the Spanish flu, had material adverse effects on the economies, equity markets and operations of those countries and jurisdictions in which they were most prevalent. A recurrence of an outbreak of any kind of epidemic, communicable disease, virus or major public health issue could cause a slowdown in the levels of economic activity generally (or push the world or local economies into recession), which would be reasonably likely to adversely affect the business, financial condition and operations of private equity funds. Should these or other major public health issues, including pandemics, arise or spread farther (or continue to worsen), private equity funds could be adversely affected by more stringent travel restrictions (such as mandatory quarantines and social distancing), additional limitations on fund operations and business activities and governmental actions limiting the movement of people and goods between regions and other activities or operations.
Valuation Risk: Due to the illiquid nature of many fund investments, any approximation of their value will be based on a good-faith determination as to the fair value of those investments. There can be no assurance that these values will equal or approximate the price at which such investments may be sold or otherwise liquidated or disposed of. In particular, the impact of the recent COVID-19 pandemic is likely to lead to adverse impacts on valuations and other financial analyses for current and future periods.
This general market summary and the opinions and beliefs expressed herein are provided for general informational purposes only. Nothing herein constitutes investment, legal, accounting or tax advice, or a recommendation to buy, sell or hold a security, and the views and beliefs expressed are not intended to predict or guarantee the future performance of any individual security, market sector or the markets generally. This presentation is general in nature and is not directed to any category of investors and should not be regarded as individualized, a recommendation, investment advice or a suggestion to engage in or refrain from any investment-related course of action. Investment decisions and the appropriateness of this presentation should be made based on an investor’s individual objectives and circumstances and in consultation with his or her advisors. Information is obtained from sources deemed reliable, but there is no representation or warranty as to its accuracy, completeness or reliability, and has not been independently verified. All information, opinions and beliefs set forth in this presentation are current as of the date of this presentation and are subject to change without notice. We do not undertake to advise you of any change in the opinions and beliefs or the information contained in this presentation. Any views or opinions expressed may not reflect those of the firm as a whole. We may issue presentations or have opinions that are inconsistent with, and reach different conclusions from, this presentation. No representation is made that any investment process, investment objectives, goals or risk management techniques discussed herein will or are likely to be achieved or successful.
Any forward-looking opinions, beliefs, estimates, assumptions, outlooks, projections, assessments, or similar statements (collectively, “Statements”), constitute only subjective views, estimations or intentions, should not be relied on, are subject to change due to many factors, including fluctuating market conditions and economic factors. Such Statements involve inherent risks, many of which cannot be predicted or quantified and are beyond our control. Future evidence and actual results could differ materially from those set forth in, contemplated by, or underlying these Statements, which are subject to change without notice. Considering the foregoing, there can be no assurance and no representation is given that these Statements are now, or will prove to be, accurate or complete. Neuberger Berman undertakes no responsibility or obligation to revise or update such Statements.
Neuberger Berman products and services may not be available in all jurisdictions or to all client types. Diversification does not guarantee profit or protect against loss in declining markets. Investing entails risks, including possible loss of principal. Indexes are unmanaged and are not available for direct investment. Investments in hedge funds, private equity and other private funds are speculative and involve more risk than more traditional investments. Investments in hedge funds, private equity and other private funds are intended for sophisticated investors only. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.
Portfolio, volatility or return targets or objectives, if any, are used solely for illustration, measurement or comparison purposes. Such targets or objectives reflect subjective determinations based on a variety of factors, including, among others, strategy and prior performance (if any), volatility measures, portfolio characteristics and risk, and market conditions. Volatility and performance will fluctuate, including over short periods, and should be evaluated over the time indicated and not over shorter periods. Performance targets or objectives should not be relied upon as an indication of actual or projected future performance. Actual volatility and returns will depend on a variety of factors including overall market conditions and the ability of to implement the contemplated investment process, investment objectives and risk management. No representation is made that these targets or objectives will be achieved, in whole or in part.
The Cambridge Associates LLC U.S. Buyout Private Equity Index® is a horizon calculation based on data compiled from 888 U.S. buyout private equity funds, including fully liquidated partnerships, formed between 1986 and 2017. Internal rates of returns are net of fees, expenses and carried interest. CA research shows that most funds take at least six years to settle into their final quartile ranking, and previous to this settling they typically rank in two to three other quartiles; therefore fund or benchmark performance metrics from more recent vintage years may be less meaningful.
The Cambridge Associates LLC Global Private Equity Buyout Index® is a horizon calculation based on data compiled from 1,598 global private equity buyout funds, including fully liquidated partnerships, formed between 1986 and 2017.
The S&P 500 is an American stock market index based on the market capitalizations of 500 large companies having common stock listed on the NYSE, NASDAQ or the CBOE BZX Exchange.
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