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Private Equity Not Worth Fees

The headline of a December article in The New York Times declared: “Private Equity Fees Are Sky-High, Yes, but Look at Those Returns.” The author, Steven Davidoff Solomon, was making the case that while “critics love to complain about private equity and its exorbitant fees … as an asset class and with the right fund, private equity is nigh unbeatable” and “well worth the fees paid.”

He cites a recent disclosure by the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS), the nation’s largest pension system, that despite paying billions in fees, its private equity investments had earned an annualized return of 12.3% per year over the 20 years ending June 2015.

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