A Private-Equity Puzzle

Capital committed to private equity (PE) funds worldwide has risen substantially in the last two decades, thanks largely to U.S. pension funds searching for alternatives to public equity markets that might help them meet their return objectives.

Endowments seeking to replicate the successes of the Yale Endowment have also contributed to the growth of PE funds, which obtained commitments for more than $460 billion in 2013, a twelvefold increase over the $38 billion committed in 1995.

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