Ludovic Phalippou of the University of Oxford – Said Business School did a nice report on the performance of Private Equity, stating Private Equity (PE) funds have returned about the same as public equity indices since at least 2006. Concluding the Private Equity model, especially in the Leveraged Buy-Out (LBOs) segment, is a costly form of financial intermediation.
The kind of mediation I plot out below pertaining to venture capital, a sub-sector of private equity, but applicable to any asset-class :
Why are trustees, investment teams, external managers, consultants, not seeing through this, Ludovic questions rightfully?
While one should be careful to infer causation from the ample correlation provided in this report, the correlation debunks the statements by so many arbiters of finance of how they possess unique insights into the fractal of human ingenuity and understand the risk-profile required to produce repeatable investment returns.
I have frequently emphasized how these purported risk-managers now little about risk.
Merely to question PE performance is considered heresy, continues Ludovic: either you believe and you are one of us, or you question the existence of outperformance and you are an enemy.
I have felt that wrath when questioning the top asset management firms with fundamental questions posed to the CIO’s of large financial institutions, like, “Why do you think 10 levels of bottom-heavy diversification of risk will yield consistent outlier returns?”
Truth deserves to be answered.
I divulge in my video presentation called Re-risk Asset Management along with some 36 articles on risk management the causation of middle-of-the-road and infinite regression of PE returns. Read those articles for in-depth causal analyses.
You see. In asset management, distribution must follow risk, not risk following distribution. Ten levels of bottom-heavy diversification must be removed to eliminate embedded risk to identify the critical path to success. Top-quartile is a meritless and meaningless indicator of financial performance. Sustainability is an evolutionary oxymoron, a false positive to regenerative alpha, while our universe revolves around the renewal of assets. Different rules requiring different strokes.
At the macro-level, the theory of asset management must fundamentally change to determine what humanity can discover, in Einstein’s words.
Meaning, the expanding fractal of human ingenuity, delivering the incremental value of assets, revolving around a theory of relativity, can only be accurately traced to produce regenerative alpha using an identical theory of relativity of finance. In simple terms, to be a great investor you must know more about the nature of the investible assets.
We have come to the rescue.