Term Sheet

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What the private equity industry thinks

February 27, 2013: 4:57 AM ET

surveyAre we already at peak private equity?

FORTUNE -- Hundreds of private equity professionals this morning participated in an electronic polling session, as part of the SuperReturn International conference in Berlin, Germany.

Forty percent of respondents identified themselves as general partners, 23% as limited partners and 37% as support staff (lawyers, etc.). Below are the results:

The next peak of the current cycle will be:
2013 (7%)
2014 (15%)
2015 (29%)
After 2016 (40%)
There are no cycles in private equity (8%)

If you had 100 million to invest in a single geography, you would pick:

North America (36%)
Latin America (6%)
China (3%)
Europe (27%)
Africa (16%)

Over the next decade, the highest average returns will come from:

Large buyout funds (10%)
Small buyout funds (37%)
Distressed debt funds (14%)
Emerging market growth funds (26%)
Secondary funds (7%)
Venture capital funds (6%)

What part of the cycle is European private equity investing in today?

At bottom, time to invest heavily (35%)
Average (55%)
Closer to a top and time to stay away (11%)

Best European investments over the next decade will come from:

Large buyout funds (13%)
Small buyout funds (35%)
Growth capital funds (20%)
Distressed debt funds (26%)
None, avoid Europe (7%)

If the public equity markets return around 5% over the next cycle, what will private equity returns be?
5-10% (47%)
10-15% (40%)

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Dan Primack
Dan Primack
Senior Editor, Fortune

Dan Primack joined Fortune.com in September 2010 to cover deals and dealmakers, from Wall Street to Sand Hill Road. Previously, Dan was an editor-at-large with Thomson Reuters, where he launched both peHUB.com and the peHUB Wire email service. In a past journalistic life, Dan ran a community paper in Roxbury, Massachusetts. He currently lives just outside of Boston.

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