Buyout Performance Anxiety

The NVCA and Thomson Reuters this morning released fund performance data through Q4 2007 (these are always lagging stats). It basically showed that VC fund performance was strong, but down from the previous period ending Q3 2007. Some readers wrote in to inquire as to buyout fund performance, so I did some research and found a similar story.

Buyout fund performance is at levels that would make most mutual fund managers blush, but is nonetheless lower than it was three months ago. One-year performance, for example, dropped from 26.2% to 22%, while three-year performance fell from 15.7% to 13.3 percent. The only rise was in five-year performance from 14.8% to 15.3%, but both the 10-year and 20-year figures were lower. Ditto for the three-month, six-month and nine-month numbers (which are mostly worthless).

Here’s the Q4 spreadsheet, for your downloading pleasure: PerformanceReport.xls. Don’t pay too much attention to “mega” funds and “large” funds, as the classifications are antiquated.