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Keywords:

  • empirical contracts;
  • private equity;
  • law and finance
  • G24;
  • G28;
  • G31;
  • G32;
  • G35

Abstract

This paper introduces a new dataset from 50 private investment funds from 17 countries around the world. We analyse the frequency of use of investment covenants imposed by institutional investors governing the activities of private investment fund managers in areas pertaining to investment decisions, investment powers, types of investments, fund operations and limitations on liability. While the data indicate a role for country legality in affecting the frequency of use of fund covenants, the data further indicate that the presence of legally trained managers has a more pronounced role in affecting the use of covenants. As private equity and venture capital investment increases across Europe and elsewhere, our results indicate that legal practice factors will matter more than the legal setting for the establishment of covenants governing new funds.