Most hurdle rates featured in private equity funds are set at 8% of internal rate of return. Although the origin of this specific figure is unclear, it is still largely applied to this day. It is of crucial importance for the fund manager: if this rate of return is not reached, then fund investors collect the full profits of the fund.

As the hurdle rate is time sensitive, this puts venture fund managers at a disadvantage, especially since venture-backed companies tend to stay private longer. More than 60% of LBO funds managed to beat the hurdle, while only 38% of VC funds exceeded the 8% threshold. This confirms that shorter holding periods characteristic for buyout strategy go in favour of LBO fund managers.

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