The listed private equity market offers investors an alternative to traditional private equity investments, by offering exposure to the sector without having to commit large amounts of capital for long periods of time. Listed private equity vehicles report their results earlier than traditional unlisted private equity funds, and hence act as an early indicator of the performance of the private equity industry as a whole.
Preqin currently tracks the share prices and net asset value for just over 100 listed vehicles. By calculating the average quarterly changes in net asset value per share (NAVPS) and the share prices for listed private equity, it is possible to show the trends and developments of listed private equity vehicles, and in turn, give an early indication of the entire private equity industry’s performance, data on which can be found on Preqin’s Performance Analyst.
This analysis of listed private equity funds shows that 2008 and 2009 saw the biggest drop in share prices and NAVPS during the period, coinciding with the large write-downs in portfolio valuation as a result of the financial crisis. Since this time, consistent quarterly increases in share prices and NAVPS have been seen through H2 2012 and H1 2013 due to strong public market performances.
Corresponding quarterly increases were seen among unlisted private equity funds, with a quarterly change in NAV of 2.3% for the entire private equity sector as of Q4 2012, and 2.9% as of Q1 2013. The latest quarter of Q3 2013 shows a further quarterly increase in the listed private equity NAVPS of 3.0%. As the listed private equity funds publish quarterly and annual reports prior to the unlisted counterparts, the quarterly increase evident in Q3 2013 among listed private equity share prices and NAVPS would indicate positive signs that their unlisted counterparts will continue the positive trend.