Are LPs moving away from the quartile ranking?

General partners like to say their funds are in the top quartile, but perhaps that isn’t enough anymore.

With the difference between the top of a quartile and its bottom 10 percent to 12 percent or more, the difference between being number one on the list and, say, number 15 can be considerable.

This seems to be the motivation behind a trend observed by data analytics firm eFront. Over the past eight to 10 months, LPs have increasingly been asking the firm for decile ranking, not just quartile ones, said Rishi Kotecha, product manager for eFront’s Pevara metrics product for private equity.

“It’s more than talking about it,” said Kotecha. “Now they are requesting it.”

While the trend is small at present, it may be telling. LP scrutiny of funds is on the rise as a favorable tide in the U.S. and other financial markets has lifted distributions and sent more funds back for new money.

So far the interest in decile rankings seems largely confined to U.S.-based LPs and, to a lesser extent, those in Europe. Most are investors, or potential investors, in buyouts and venture funds. But it might just be a matter of time before more ask for it.

The amount of interest is small, but increasing, said Kotecha, whose firm gathers performance and cash flow data on funds from LPs and offers access through an analytics tool.