This is the first in MJ Hudson's series of insights into different segments of private equity performance, where our Fund performance analytics teams look to share observations they have found by analysing commercially available data. The series will provide insights related to certain sectors and trends with the private equity landscape throughout the year, and highlight some of the associated managers and funds we have been able to create profiles on using that commercially available data. The first instalment is around Mega buyout funds.

What is fund performance analytics? Providing insights into performance, risk and strategy using smart data to enhance fundraising and fund selection effectiveness, MJ Hudson Fund performance analytics helps managers and investors go beyond IRR.


Series 1 – Mega buyout funds – Mega buyout funds look to be more "recession proof"


During times of economic headwinds, private equity mega buyout funds deliver returns similar to those of their smaller peers (e.g. mid-market) but with less selection risk for LPs.

Overall, mega buyout funds typically deliver slightly lower returns than the "wider market".


The largest 20 percent of global buyout funds raised between 2000 and 2017 generated a 1.8x average return, versus 1.92x for all buyout funds.

However, mega buyout funds are able to manage downturns more effectively.

Second findings are that the largest 20 percent of buyout funds raised between 2005 and 2007 – in other words, those raised directly prior to the global financial crisis – delivered returns (1.61x) that are "statistically no different" to all buyout funds as a whole (1.67x) and, crucially, with a lower coefficient of variation.


This confirms the hypothesis that large cap private equity funds were attractive during crisis times as they offer similar returns to smaller funds at lower return dispersion – i.e. less risk to have largely underperforming funds.

Our library of over 500 GP profiles uses commercially available data to produce our proprietary metrics, which analyses private equity fund performance across performance/benchmarking, strategic differentiation, and risk (including return dispersion). Mega buyout funds in the MJ Hudson Fund performance analytics GP profile library includes key players such as:

  • Advent International
  • Apax Partners
  • Apollo Global Management
  • Bain Capital
  • Blackstone Inc.
  • Carlyle Group
  • KKR & Co Inc
  • TPG
  • Warburg Pincus and more.

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