The Growing Appeal of Co-Investment Funds

October 03, 2019 | Derek Schmidt, CFA, CAIA, Director of Private Equity

Co-investment funds are becoming an increasingly attractive area of deployment within private equity programs. The number of dedicated co-investment vehicles has risen dramatically over the past decade as many fund-of-funds managers have looked for product expansion and have responded to investor demand.

Co-investment vehicles provide investors the ability to provide additional capital — alongside and aligned with private equity managers ­— at a significantly reduced fee (less than traditional private equity investing) and with quicker deployment (mitigating much of the j-curve). These factors have contributed to the higher net returns recorded by dedicated co-investment funds over this past decade.

As seen in the charts above, these dedicated co-investment funds have outperformed the broader private equity fund performance with a higher median net IRR of 18.9% (430 bps of outperformance over Preqin’s direct private equity median net IRR) and with 80% outperforming their median PE performance within their respective vintage years (2009–2016). We believe this past decade has really proven out many of these teams and strategies and that proven managers with strong and repeatable selection processes should continue to outperform private equity benchmarks in nearly all vintages throughout a full economic cycle.

We encourage investors to continue to allocate to these dedicated co-investment funds as an important allocation within their private equity programs. However, we caution investors must be selective as there is a very wide range of skill, sourcing, alignment, and access differential between managers within this area of the market.

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The opinions expressed herein are those of Marquette Associates, Inc. (“Marquette”), and are subject to change without notice. This material is not financial advice or an offer to purchase or sell any product. Marquette reserves the right to modify its current investment strategies and techniques based on changing market dynamics or client needs.

Derek Schmidt, CFA, CAIA
Director of Private Equity

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