Authorization

Why private equity appeals

JOHN MCGAHERN’S novel, “That They May Face the Rising Sun”, is set in a remote corner of Ireland. There is a lake, a church, two bars and not much else. Gossip is prized but in short supply. Much of it is concerns John Quinn, a womaniser who has buried two wives and is looking for a third. His quest takes him to Knock, a shrine to the Virgin Mary, which has become a place to find a partner. Like many pilgrims, John Quinn is outwardly pious. But his mind is fixed on earthly matters.The masking of intent may also be true of visitors to the temple of private equity. On the surface, investors in such funds might hope to harvest a reward—an “illiquidity premium”—for locking up their money for five to ten years. That allows private-equity funds time to turn sluggish businesses into world-beaters. The pitch is seductive. Capital has flooded in as readily as pilgrims flock to the shrine at Knock.
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