Despite Slowdown in Activity, Private Equity Returns Continue to Rise

State Street Corporation (NYSE:STT) today announced the results of its GX Private Equity Index (PEI), a benchmark for comparative analysis of private equity performance, which includes a comprehensive data set, in some cases dating back to 1980. In the third quarter of 2016, the index saw an overall return of 3.8 percent, with Buyout, Private Debt and Venture Capital each posting positive returns.

“Following record years of exit activity in 2014 and 2015, private equity firms are cautiously putting money to work,” said Will Kinlaw, senior managing director and global head of State Street Associates, a division of State Street Global Exchange.  “Despite the second half of 2016 representing some of the lowest levels of private equity deal activity, we continue to be encouraged by positive and meaningful gains in returns in all three private equity categories.”

The PEI is based on directly sourced limited partnership data and represents more than $2.5 trillion in private equity investments, with more than 2,600 unique private equity partnerships, as of September 30, 2016.

Third Quarter Highlights Include:

  • Despite the slowdown in activity, Venture Capital recovered from its previous two quarters of lackluster returns, posting a quarterly gain of 3.72% in Q3 (up from 0.28% in Q2). Buyout and Private Equity funds gained 3.86%  (up from 3.41% in Q2) and 3.59% (up from 2.61% in Q2) in Q3, respectively.
  • Among all three main strategies, Buyout recorded the highest one-year return of 10.38% as of Q3 2016, while Venture Capital and Private Debt recorded returns of 4.72% and 6.13%,respectively, for the same period.
  • While Q3 2016 was another quiet quarter for the global IPO markets, towards the end of 2016,  we observed a bounce-back in private equity deal activities with both monthly capital drawdown and distribution ratio picking up significantly.
  • European-focused private equity funds recorded a strong quarter, 4.08% in USD-denominated returns, up from 0.67% in the previous quarter. One-year returns also increased, at 10.82% at the end of September 2016, up from 7.27% in the previous quarter.

“Volatility in the market as a result of 2016 geopolitical events is causing investors to hold off on making bold investment decisions,” said Anthony Catino, managing director, Alternative Investment Solutions for State Street. “Once instability subsides, we anticipate an increase in investor activity.”

For additional insights, or to learn more about the GX Private Equity Index please visit

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