Thomson Reuters partners with Cambridge Associates on benchmark data

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Thomson Reuters has struck a deal with consulting firm Cambridge Associates to provide the latter’s private equity benchmarking data to subscribers of the Thomson Reuters Eikon service.

The deal marks the end of an era: Thomson Reuters (publisher of peHUB) and its predecessors, including Venture Economics, collected and published buyout and venture capital return data and statistics for more than two decades. Countless sponsors and investors have used the Thomson Reuters benchmarks — built upon such measures as internal rate of return and total-value-to-paid-in-capital — to compare their performance with that of their peers; academics tapped the database for papers exploring the overall performance of the industry. Over the years a number of competing products have sprung up, including ones offered by The Burgiss Group, Pitchbook Data Inc and Preqin.

The Thomson Reuters performance benchmarks remain available through the private equity module of the Thomson ONE platform; customers of that module will be upgraded to Eikon over the next few months, according to a source familiar with the transition. Customers can expect first-quarter 2014 Cambridge Associates data to become available in August. Thomson Reuters intends to provide customers of the module an automatic upgrade with no additional charge, according to a document prepared for customers. Regular Eikon customers will not automatically have access to the benchmarking data but can work out deals separately for access, our source said.

So, what kind of benchmarking data will be available through Eikon? The foundation of the product will be the Cambridge Associates database of some 5,600 private equity funds around the world sponsored by more than 1,600 fund managers. Customers will be able to “cut and slice” the data on an aggregated basis — they will not have access to information about individual funds — using a platform developed jointly by Thomson Reuters and Cambridge Associates, according to our source.

The Thomson ONE benchmarking data, set to be refreshed one last time in May with fourth-quarter numbers, will be available through Thomson ONE “for a short time” longer, according to the customer document. Thereafter the data will be housed in a confidential archive, unavailable to customers. Those looking for historic benchmarking statistics from Thomson Reuters will still be able to find hard copies of the annual Investment Benchmarks Reports, which the Thomson Reuters Deals Group published through 2011.

At press time we were unable to reach an executive at Cambridge Associates for comment.

This is an abridged version of a story that first appeared in Buyouts magazine, a peHUB sister publication. For Buyouts subscriptions, contact Greg Winterton at greg.winterton@thomsonreuters.com.

Photo courtesy of ShutterStock

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