Callan Publishes Private Equity Fees and Terms Study, Revealing How Partnerships Compare Across Key Metrics

SAN FRANCISCO – July 9, 2020 – Callan, a leading institutional investment consulting firm, announced the release of its Private Equity Fees and Terms Study today, which analyzes the fees and terms for 90 private equity partnerships to help institutional investors evaluate, and even negotiate, a partnership’s terms.

“We created this study to help investors evaluate a partnership’s terms compared to those of its peers, which is an especially useful tool when conducting due diligence,” said Pete Keliuotis, head of alternatives consulting at Callan. “We also envision that general partners may find the study useful as a way to benchmark their partnership terms.”

Key Highlights:

  • More than three-quarters of the partnerships were buyout funds, and North American funds made up the vast majority of respondents.
  • The partnerships represented fund offerings that were in the market and reviewed by Callan in 2018 and 2019.
  • There was a relatively high level of uniformity for fees and terms among the partnerships evaluated, indicating that general partners have significant bargaining power—for now. This could change as the impact of the pandemic resets the dynamics of the private equity market.


The study, which leverages Callan’s proprietary database, is focused on these principal terms to provide a concise snapshot of the market: minimum limited partner commitments, general partner commitments, management fees, type of “waterfall” used, carried interest percentage, and hurdle rate.

When evaluating a partnership for potential investment, Callan helps institutional investors to determine whether the terms are consistent with the rest of the market, with particular emphasis on the alignment of interests between general partners and limited partners. The snapshot provided in the study is intended to be used as a benchmark for that exercise on an ongoing basis, as the firm expects to publish this study annually.

You may view the study in Callan’s Research Library (no-cost registration).

About Callan

Callan was founded as an employee-owned investment consulting firm in 1973. Ever since, we have empowered institutional clients with creative, customized investment solutions backed by proprietary research, exclusive data, and ongoing education. Today, Callan advises on more than $2 trillion in total fund sponsor assets, which makes it among the largest independently owned investment consulting firms in the U.S. Callan uses a client-focused consulting model to serve pension and defined contribution plan sponsors, endowments, foundations, independent investment advisers, investment managers, and other asset owners. Callan has six offices throughout the U.S. Learn more at

Media contact:
Elizabeth Anathan
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