Private equity is often assumed to be one of the riskiest asset classes. If this assumption were correct, you could expect it to have been hit particularly hard during the global financial crisis. This was not the case. Private equity suffered from losses just as public equity did, however the magnitude of the losses was much lower and the recovery time was significantly shorter when compared to public equity. Yves Arnet, a student at the Hochschule Luzern – Wirtschaft, compared private and public equity indices for his bachelor thesis1 - supervised by Dr. Philippe Jost of Capital Dynamics. The private equity indices were computed from the Cambridge Associates database and Capital Dynamics data. He concluded that private equity investments offer greater protection against financial downturns than public equity indices, with the stipulation that the investor is able to avoid a forced sale for liquidity reasons.
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