Publicly Traded Private Equity

Lahr, Henry (2015). Publicly Traded Private Equity. In: Baker, H. Kent; Filbeck, Greg and Kiymaz, Halil eds. Private Equity: Opportunities and Risks. Financial Markets and Investments. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 483–502.




Simultaneously with the PE boom of the 1990s, the sub-segment of publicly traded firms that buy and sell private companies expanded almost as quickly as the entire asset class. Publicly trated PE mirrors the structures of conventional non-listed PE but offers added advantages to investors. This chapter first describes organizational forms and legal structures of publicly traded vehicles and then analyzes their risk profiles and pricing characteristics. Systematic risk of listed vehicles can be substantial while being highly diverse across internally and externally managed entities. Empirical reearch uses market prices of traded PE funds to estimate the pricing relationship between net asset values (NAVs) and share prices. Evidence suggests that NAV discounts mainly depend on liquidity, fund type, and investor sentiment.

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