Private equity’s 10-year returns beat total-return stock market indices over the same term, but results were more mixed for shorter periods, according to the latest figures from the American Investment Council.

For the 10-year period ended Dec. 31, 2016, two benchmarks of PE performance compiled by AIC posted 10.3 percent and 9.4 percent annualized returns, beating the S&P 500 and Russell 3000 total return indices’ 6.9 percent and 7.1 percent, respectively. AIC’s two PE benchmarks are a median of several industry PE indices and a median of pension fund PE investments.

For the 1-, 3- and 5-year periods ended Dec. 31, the performance victories are split between PE and the stock market, according to the figures from AIC, an advocacy group for the private investment industry. For the 5-year term, both stock market indicators at 14.7 percent beat the PE benchmarks of 13.2 percent and 13.4 percent. For the 3-year period, the annual return percentages for the PE benchmarks, 10 and 12.2, beat those of the S&P 500 and Russell 3000, at 8.9 and 8.4 respectively. And for the 1-year period, the PE annual return percentages were 12.9 and 9.5, compared to 12 and 12.7 for the S&P 500 and Russell 3000.

AIC is focusing on the good news for private equity—outperformance versus the stock markets over the long haul. "Private equity remains the best destination for investors seeking long- term gains," says Mike Sommers, CEO of the council. "The focus on delivering value over the long-run to pensions, endowments and other investors separates private equity from other asset classes."

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