Beyond the J Curve

Beyond the J Curve

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In recent times, venture capital and private equity funds have become household names, but so far little has been written for the investors in such funds – the so–called ‘limited partners’. There is far more to the management of a portfolio of venture capital and private equity funds than usually perceived. Beyond the J Curve provides an innovative toolset for such limited partners to design and manage portfolios tailored to the dynamics of this market place, going far beyond the typical and often–simplistic recipe to ‘go for top quartile funds’.

Beyond the J Curve provides the answers to key questions, including:

  • Why should ‘top–quartile’ promises be taken with a huge pinch of salt and what does it takes to select superior fund managers?
  • What do limited partners need to consider when designing and managing portfolios?
  • How can one determine the funds’ economic value to help address the questions of ‘fair value’ under IAS 39 and ‘risk’ under Basel II or Solvency II?
  • Why is monitoring important and how does a limited partner manage their portfolio?
  • How can the portfolio’s returns be improved through proper liquidity management and what should be considered when over–committing?
  • Why is uncertainty rather than risk an issue and how can a limited partner address and benefit from the fast changing private equity environment?

Beyond the J Curve takes the practitioner’s view and offers private equity and venture capital professionals a comprehensive guide, making high return targets more realistic and sustainable. This book is a ‘must have’ for all parties involved in this market, as well as academic and students.

"This is the first work that I have seen that comprehensively covers the important subject of valuing, evaluating and measuring the performance of private equity funds. Much has been published in journals and papers on individual aspects of this controversial subject by various segments of the stakeholder universe – usually putting forward partisan viewpoints. This is the first time that a holistic, integrated and disciplined framework has been adopted. The approach taken has yielded a rich crop of useful results including an innovative methodology for determining fair value for private equity funds during the course of their long lives; portfolio design and benchmarking methods; a prototype grading and fund scoring system. Essential reading for investors and a useful state–of–the–art reference manual for private equity managers". Christopher K. B. Brotchie, Formerly Chief Executive of the Baring Private Equity Group and Member of the ING Management Council

"The transactions, size and stories of private equity and venture capital investment activity are the focus of many news publications today. It is not quite the same situation in the area of academic and technical publications, where much remains to be researched and published. The authors of Beyond the J–Curve have taken on the ambitious project of analysing the difficult and controversial area of valuing fund portfolios. Their innovative and integrated approach aims at opening up the framework within which these valuations are practised by investors, and offers alternatives. This is a welcome angle to the current debate among investors, private equity and venture capital practitioners. The subject is likely to spur substantial discussions and additional technical publications. Beyond the J–Curve is certainly a thorough and pioneering contribution to that debate". Javier Echarri, Secretary General, European Private Equity & Venture Capital Association

"Beyond the J Curve is a timely guide for investors in private equity, with an elegant balance of analysis and practical suggestions. Its emphasis on monitoring and active portfolio management should promote more effective stewardship of private equity assets in the future". Brenlen Jinkens, Director, Cogent Partners Europe

"Congratulations to both Thomas Meyer and Pierre–Yves Mathonet for their publication Beyond the J curve. They should be highly commended for breaking a long–standing taboo – investing in private equity can now be modelled. Beyond the J curve not only reveals a theoretical approach to Fair Value for private equity funds but also proposes a complete approach for investors to build up, in possession of the facts, a comprehensive and effective programme for private equity investments. I am personally convinced that our industry should become more involved into this type of approach in order to best explain the interest of investing in private equity." Pierre Herve, General Secretary of Natexis private Equity, Chairman of AFIC’s Basel II and IFRS working groups, and Member of EFRAG’s Venture Capital working group