What is Private Equity? - Claudia Zeisberger of INSEAD

For years, Claudia Zeisberger has found herself being asked what might seem like a straightforward question: What is Private Equity.

It also might seem like a surprising question, given that global private equity assets under management run at about $2.5 trillion. It’s not like we’re talking about some hidden asset class.

But the question came frequently and in different forms – sometimes about doing PE deals, other times about managing PE investments, still others about Fund Management and the GP-LP Relationship.

So over the years, Zeisberger – who is the Senior Affiliate Professor of Decision Sciences and Entrepreneurship & Family Enterprise at INSEAD, as well as Founder and Academic Director of the school’s private equity center – would write 2-3 page primers on the various topics and hand them out.

Now, Zeisberger has taken those primers and added original insights from some of the leading private equity players globally and co-authored two books: Mastering Private Equity & the accompanying case studies Private Equity in Action.

Of course, being based in Singapore and continually on a plane – I caught up with her in Hong Kong – Zeisberger has a unique view not only into private equity’s history, but also current trends.

So what is private equity and what’s next for this mammoth asset class? That’s what we discussed…

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