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A BRIEF HISTORY OF PRIVATE EQUITY1

John Gilligan

Introduction

This chapter looks at some of the ups and downs of the private equity (PE) industry since the late 1980s. It examines the industry from a practitioner’s perspective. Prior to the foundation of CMBOR no comprehensive deal-level databases existed. Today there are competing commercial databases at the transaction, fund, and fund manager levels. This emergence of greater data availability, and the limitations of some of those data sources, explains why the timeline of academic research does not always align with the timeline of an industry practitioner. Those who work within the industry often undertake analysis that is unpublished but significantly pre-dates the peer-reviewed academic ...

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