Demystifying Private Equity

Your roadmap to PE

November 27, 2019

Private equity industry trends

industry AuM as of 2018¹.

Capital distributed by fund managers to investors in 2018².

Top Performing Institutional Investors are Allocating 40% to Private Investments

According to the latest conducted by Cambridge Associates³, top decile performing institutional investors have increased their private investments* allocations to a mean of 40%.

Private Investment Allocation

Private Investment Allocations Private Investment Allocation Graph


Private Investment Allocations Princeton University


Private Investment Allocations University of Texas


Private Investment Allocations Columbia University


Private Investment Allocations Yale University


*Private investments include non-venture private equity, venture capital, distressed securities (private equity structure), private real estate, private oil & gas/natural resources, timber, and other private investments.

¹Preqin; ²Preqin; ³ Cambridge Associates Research Report February 2019; ⁴ Princeton University; ⁵ University of Texas; ⁶ Columbia University; ⁷ Yale News

The higher the allocation to private investments,
the better the returns.

The average annualized return for a greater than 15% allocation was 8.1%, 160 basis points higher than the group with a less than 5% allocation.

20 year Average Return (%)

Scatter Chart for Private Investment Allocations

Private equity allocations under 5%

Private equity allocations between 5% and 15%

Private equity allocations over 15%

20 year Average Private Investment Allocations (%)

Source: Endowment and foundation data as reported to Cambridge Associates LLC.
Notes: Analysis includes 132 endowments and foundations that provided returns and beginning year asset allocation for each June 30 from 1998 to 2018. Subgroups are based on each institution’s 20-year average allocation to private investments. Solid lines are drawn where the median private investments allocation for the entire universe intersects with the median return for the entire universe.

The Private Company Universe

The Private Company universe is significantly larger than the shrinking public company universe, creating a host of opportunities.


of businesses with ≥ $10M in sales are private companies in the USA


Decline in the number of US publicly traded companies since the 1996 peak

Cambridge Associates November 2017, World Bank 2018.

Private Investment Allocations Private Company Map

The majority of a company's growth occurs in a private format.

Growing trend: private companies are skipping public markets entirely or going public much later as matured businesses.

The average age of a company at IPO has nearly doubled since 1980: 6 yrs old in 1980 and 11 years old in 2017 at IPO.
Initial Public Offerings: Median Age of IPOs Through 2017, June 13, 2018

Median age for tech companies going public in 1999 was 4 years, respectively, compared with 12 years in 2018.

Median annual sales, meanwhile, were about $12 million then, compared with $173.6 million last year at IPO .

Demystifying common misconceptions


Single deal flow or a single manager approach is a recipe for disaster. Proper diversification greatly reduces the risk of permanent capital.

Probability of Portfolio with TVPI<1.0x Based on Portfolio Size

Private Investment Allocations Bar Graph - Probability of Portfolio with TVPI < 1.0x Based on Portfolio Size

Cambridge Associates Research Report February 2019


Laddered consistently and periodically over 5 years (vintage diversification), a systematically designed PE portfolio should produce a staggered series of consistent cash flows and liquidity events for an investor. Cashflows can be heightened with the inclusion of private credit and real assets.

Laddered Diversified PE Portfolio Cash Flows for $2.5M total commitments.

Private Investment Allocations Bar Graph - Laddered Diversified PE Portfolio Cash Flows for $2.5M total commitments


Professional investors do not attempt to time private markets. They take a systematic, process oriented approach and create a roadmap to advance steadily towards a ‘stabilized portfolio of private equity’ via systematic vintage diversification.

U.S. public vs. private equity returns
By vintage year

Private Investment Allocations Bar Graph - U.S. public vs. private equity returns By vintage year

The Crystal Capital Private Equity offering provides you an edge in the marketplace.

Private Investment Allocations Marketplace Table

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