Having a diverse geographic focus is one way fund managers are able to spread risk and potential return. Preqin holds net-to-LP fund level performance data for 488 buyout funds with vintage 2004-2008, of which 274 have an investment focus on North America and 42 with a main investment focus on Asia and Australasia.
A comparison of the returns of the buyout industry in North America and the Asia-Pacific region reveals that the median net IRRs for all vintages in the sample are positive for both North American and Asia-Pacific focused buyout funds. For vintage years 2004-2007, buyout funds with an investment focus in Asia-Pacific have seen consistently higher median net IRRs compared to buyout funds with a main investment focus on North America. The greatest difference between the two regions occurs for vintage 2004 funds, with a difference of 7.2 percentage points. Vintage 2008 North American focussed buyout funds are currently showing a greater median return than Asia & Australasia focused buyout funds, with 7.8% compared to 4.2%; however these funds are still early in their fund lives and returns could improve as fund managers add value to their investments and look to exit.