Goldman Sachs taps public markets to bet on private equity

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THE PAST decade has not been especially kind to investors in private equity. Since 2010 they have poured $8trn into buy-out funds. Yet the returns, net of fees, that these vehicles have delivered to their “limited partners” (typically pension schemes, endowments and other institutions) have been similar to America’s comparable stock index—with vastly more risk.

Hence the boom in a more rewarding way to bet on private equity: investing in the asset managers themselves, rather than their products. On September 6th Goldman Sachs said it would float a new investment vehicle, called Petershill Partners, which will hold 19 minority stakes in private-equity groups and hedge-fund managers that together oversee $187bn. The listing, set to take place in about a month, could value Petershill at more than $5bn, making it the largest alternative-asset business listed in London. Until now its assets have been managed by Goldman’s Petershill…

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