Private equity primer

October 2022

This primer describes the asset class commonly known as private equity. It attempts to answer the types of questions institutional investors would be likely to ask when considering an investment in this area.

Historically, private equity investments have often been grouped in a larger category of investments called alternative investments. Alternative investments have been defined as any investments other than publicly traded stocks and bonds. In addition to private equity investments, alternatives have often included real estate, infrastructure, natural resources, private debt, and hedge funds.

This primer is limited to an overview of private equity and only describes the characteristics of the asset class. It does not suggest a target allocation, nor does it specify how to implement an investment program. These issues are client specific and must be addressed by the decision-makers in each group.