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Soaring acquisition prices are setting off alarm bells among major institutional investors, such as public pension funds and insurance firms, that invest in private equity with the expectation that funds will achieve an internal rate of return (IRR) of 20 percent or more. According to Cambridge Associates, a private equity investment adviser, the U.S. industry’s average IRR was just under 10 percent in 2015, the most recent year for which it compiled data. At the industry’s annual get-together at the SuperReturn conference in Berlin, several prominent investors asked whether fund managers were buying at a peak, as happened in the years that preceded the 2008 financial crisis how to spot fake mont blanc cufflinks.

“There is an expectation returns will go down because there’s a lot of competition for deals and the awareness that an economic downturn could be coming soon,” Simon Marc, head of private equity at PSP Investments, a Canadian pension fund with $153 billion in assets, said on the sidelines of the conference how to spot fake mont blanc cufflinks. To be sure, many investors said they still expect private equity fund managers to significantly outperform the wider stock market. They expect to earn such a significant premium because they agree to tie up their money for up to 10 years..

Private equity fund managers earn lucrative fees on investor capital, typically a 1.5 percent management fee on the money committed and a 20 percent cut of the profits as a performance fee, subject usually to a returns threshold. As a result, they are under pressure to deploy that capital, even if the deals available are expensive. “There are beads of sweat forming on the brows of a few people thinking, Is this deal where I’m overpaying?” said Richard Hope, managing director on the investment team at Hamilton Lane Inc, a private markets investment firm how to spot fake mont blanc cufflinks.

Some private equity firms are so keen to put their swelling cash piles to work, they are paying for expensive acquisitions of companies mostly out of cash from their funds, so-called equity financing, and trimming back their reliance on debt how to spot fake mont blanc cufflinks. As a result, it is more difficult to score high returns. In a typical leveraged buyout, private equity firms juice up returns by loading up acquisitions with debt, which is often provided by banks. But in sectors such as technology, valuations are becoming so lofty that banks will no longer finance the majority of some deals. Without such financial engineering, the buyout firms are betting on the acquired companies’ projected high rates of growth to drive returns..

Close to 30 percent of deals by private equity firm lose at least some amount of money, according to Hamilton Lane. This alarms investors, who regard private equity firms as wise custodians, acquiring mature companies with stable cash flows. Private equity investors “are scared how to spot fake mont blanc cufflinks. If you lived through the financial crisis, you don’t want a repeat of that,” said Andrea Auerbach, global head of private investments at Cambridge Associates. The uncertain outlook is impacting private equity fund manager selection, with investors eager to find firms with experience in investing in down markets..