LP Scorecard: A rare glimpse at the performance of Commonfund

Old Dominion University Educational Foundation, which discloses data on the performance of its 61-fund private equity portfolio, has committed $25.3 million to 11 funds of funds managed by Commonfund spanning vintage years 2007 to 2015 (see accompanying table). It is too early to close the books on these funds, of course, and some remain in their j-curve periods—the earlier years of a fund’s life when management fees eat disproportionately into interim returns and investments may be held at conservative valuations.

Commonfunds’s funds of funds have yet to soar to great heights, with only two so far producing an IRR in the double digits as of March 31.Only looking at the funds of vintage years 2010 and earlier, the median IRR is 6.9 percent, compared to a median IRR of 8.7 percent from a pool of over 200 fund of funds compiled by Buyouts

The best of the bunch is Commonfund Capital Venture Partners VIII, with a 15.5 percent IRR and investment multiple of 1.80x. Returning $738.4 thousand on $2.0 million drawn down from Old Dominion University Educational Foundation, the 2007-vintage has over $2.9 million in value remaining. Coming in second place by IRR was another vintage-2007 pool, Commonfund Private Equity Partners VII, with an IRR of 11.4 percent. Commonfund Venture Partners VII is third by IRR, with a 9.7 percent IRR. It has the second-highest investment multiple of the 11, at 1.61x. 

As of March 31, 2015, the foundation’s overall portfolio, including private equity, venture capital, real estate and secondaries, had a total value approaching $112.6 million in capital commitments, with $73.5 million of that drawn down and $38.2 million realized in distributions. The 11 funds managed by Commonfund account for $25.3 million in commitments, $17.4 million of cash in and $8.9 million of distributions. Commonfund Capital could not be reached for comment.