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While it may be difficult to do so, LPs spend a lot of time monitoring and evaluating GP portfolios. This goes beyond identifying big name companies or underlying valuations. It is better thought of as an evaluation of how well the GP is carrying out the proposed investment thesis / portfolio construction that the GP promoted during fundraising. There are at least three different dimensions to monitoring a GP portfolio.
PE/VC funds generally are intended to have a lifespan of 10 years, in which the first 5 years are the most active years for investing capital. GP fundraising for a new fund generally starts when the existing fund is at least 70% accounted for (invested, committed, and reserved). This means that GPs will raise new funds every 3-5 years to sustain access to capital. For LPs investing in PE/VC, it is important to keep track of past GP funds for at least three reasons: capital allocation, timing, and market opportunity.
When monitoring GP news, it is important to have a baseline profile against which to measure progress. In general, LPs create these profiles by answering three important questions:
1. What is the unique value add of the GP?
The GP profile first lists a high concept pitch of the GP. In as few words as possible, what is the unique value add that will make the GP successful? Another way to think about this question is to ask, why is this GP different from all the other GPs that pursue the same / similar investment style? The answer to this question helps position the GP in the competitive (and seemingly homogenous) landscape.
Monitoring of PE/VC investments refers to the process of evaluating the traction of PE/VC firms (“GPs”) between fundraising. This is important since many institutional investors (“LPs”) consider the five most recent years of GP activity as a key indicator for the future success of a GP. The goal of monitoring is to establish whether to re-up (reinvest) with a certain GP or commit money to a different GP.
Bison is uniquely positioned to identify trends in private equity. We track regulatory filings and news about every PE/VC firm that fundraises in the U.S. Our proprietary technology augments these data points into dynamic firm profiles. Having just released our public beta in June 2013, we already serve more than 200 LP firms that follow over 700 GPs across different geographies, styles, and focuses on Bison.
Here are the top ten trending GPs on Bison for Q2 2013:
The General Solicitation ban for private equity (and other private securities) is no more thanks to the SEC. There has been a lot of talk today about what this means for private equity and we at Bison.co wanted to share our view.
1. Issuers do not need to (and very likely will not) solicit funds. Dan Primack notes an opportunity to get money from accredited investors into funds, but cautions that most top-performing managers will not solicit publicly to avoid scrutiny. There is another dimension to this…
Rasmus: Hi Mike, in our last conversation we spoke about institutional investors (LPs) who invests in private equity. I’d like to hear a bit more about what these LPs invest into when they invest in Private Equity?
Mike: Hi Rasmus. Well as an LP, you are one of many partners that invest in a limited partnership. To qualify as a limited partner of the partnership, you can have only a minimal influence over the partnership. It’s almost like being a silent partner. You put the capital in, but you don’t guide the actual investment decisions.