Asset Allocation with Private Equity

Friday January 21, 2022


We survey the literature on the private equity partnership arrangement from the perspective of an outside investor (limited partner). We examine how the partnership arrangement fits into a broader portfolio of investments, and we consider the methods and difficulties in performance measurement, both at the fund level and at the asset class level. We follow with a discussion of performance persistence and the skill and pricing power of both general and limited partners. We continue by examining the limited partner’s problem of managing commitments and investments over time while diversifying across funds in light of both idiosyncratic and systematic shocks. We close with a summary of recent work on optimal portfolio allocation to private equity. Throughout, we consider how empirical work and theory match the particular institutional details of private equity, and we identify 27 open questions to help guide private equity research forward.


Arthur Korteweg, University of Southern California

Mark M. Westerfield, University of Washington