Private equity and venture capital firms that invest primarily in developed markets outside the United States returned 16.3% in 2013, as measured by the Cambridge Associates LLC Global ex-U.S. Developed Markets Private Equity and Venture Capital index. The MSCI EAFE index, by comparison, returned 23.6% in the period.

Over the 10-year period, however, the private equity index returned 13.8% annually, vs. 7.7% for the public benchmark.

Private equity and venture capital funds that primarily invest in emerging markets fared much better than public equity managers as the Cambridge Associates LLC Emerging Markets Private Equity and Venture Capital index returned 13.6% in 2013 compared to -2.3% for the MSCI Emerging Markets index.

Long-term performance between emerging markets private and public equities was much less divergent than developed markets -- in the 10 years ended Dec. 31, the private equity index returned 12.5% annually and the MSCI index, 11.5%.