Updated with correction
When it comes to returns, private equity managers envisage a tale of two portfolios, one with uncertainty surrounding pre-pandemic assets and another of great expectations for post-COVID-19 investments.
Asset owners have been pinning their hopes of reaching their total fund expected rate of returns on private equity. For example, Oregon Investment Council's most recent capital market assumptions provided by its general investment consultant, Callan LLC, include an expected annual private equity return of 9.2% for 2020 through 2029, the highest of any asset class in its portfolio, according to agenda materials from the council's June 3 meeting. The $75 billion Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund, Salem, has a 17.5% current long-term private equity allocation.
Private equity managers are going into this crisis after a record fundraising year. In 2019, U.S. managers raised a combined $888 billion in 1,064 alternative investments funds, the most capital raised on an annual basis, according to PitchBook. Of this total, private equity amassed the most of any sector with $474.1 billion, debt at $131.1 billion and venture capital at $75.5 billion. Private equity and venture capital funds raised $133 billion worldwide in the first quarter, a 12% increase from the year-earlier quarter. Meanwhile, private equity earned internal rates of return of 10.17% for the year and 14.58% for the 10 years ended Sept. 30, PitchBook data show.
Private equity funds raised in a period of market dislocation typically have stronger returns, said Anthony D. Tutrone, New York-based managing director, global head of the alternatives business at Neuberger Berman Group LLC, which had $96 billion in alternative assets as of March 31. In past downturns, many private equity managers were able to make investments that did well when the market rebounded, he said.
Neuberger Berman executives think that upcoming vintages of private equity funds will perform better than funds raised before the crisis, Mr. Tutrone said.