In our last post, “Understanding private equity fund due diligence” we looked at the key area of focus for private equity fund due diligence, management fee offsets. This drew on the expertise of Michael Flaherman, Visiting Scholar at UC Berkeley and long time veteran of the industry who presented our webinar “Making Sense of Private Equity Partnership Agreements.

In this article, we’re going to again leverage Michael’s expertise and look at some of the specific reasons he’s been able to identify that signal that the deal you think you’re getting on management fee offsets may not actually be so.

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Private equity has a reputation for being a tricky area for due diligence professionals to navigate. In addition, it is also known for some of the more controversial practices in the industry. For example, the 2014 SEC statement entitled “Spreading Sunshine In Private Equity” highlighted that more than 50% of the private equity firms that had been investigated by the SEC had been found to be doing something illegal or contrary to regulatory standards.

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What are the essential areas to investigate in a due diligence questionnaire? What questions must you ask? How do you decide what to ask and what to leave out? We have some great data to indicate where your most critical areas of focus should be, plus advice from and operational due diligence expert on making those tough calls on what to include or leave out.

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