Paying for performance in private equity: Evidence from venture capital partnerships

Abstract

We offer the first empirical analysis connecting the timing of general partner (GP) compensation to private equity fund performance. Using detailed information on limited partnership agreements between private equity limited and general partners, we find that “GP-friendly” contracts—agreements that pay general partners on a deal-by-deal basis instead of withholding carried interest until a benchmark return has been earned—are associated with higher returns, both gross and net of fees. This is robust to measures of performance persistence, time period effects, and other contract terms and is related to exit-timing incentives. Timing practices balance GP incentives against limited partner downside protection.

Beteiligte Institutionen

Die Hauptstandorte vom TRR 266 sind die Universität Paderborn (Sprecherhochschule), die HU Berlin und die Universität Mannheim. Alle drei Standorte sind seit vielen Jahren Zentren für Rechnungswesen- und Steuerforschung. Hinzu kommen Wissenschaftler der LMU München, der Frankfurt School of Finance and Management, der WHU – Otto Beisheim School of Management, der ESMT Berlin, der Goethe-Universität Frankfurt und der Carl von Ossietzky Universität Oldenburg, die die gleiche Forschungsagenda verfolgen.