Performance by UK private equity funds in 2004 registered a big improvement on last year’s figures, with 19.8% in 2004 against 12.3% in 2003. This undoubtedly reflects the large number of exits during 2004. Over the longer term three-year returns were 11.5% (compared to 2.6% in 2003), five-year returns were 9.4% (compared to 10.2% in 2003) and ten-year returns were 14.% (compared to 14.2% in 2003.) Returns since inception (1980) until December 31, 2004 for all private equity was 13%, this figure only includes funds that are four years and older i.e. no funds raised 2001 to 2004 inclusive were used in undertaking the calculation. The purpose is to show returns from mature investments, clearly one-, three-, five- and ten-year returns include all funds and as such are more vulnerable to pronounced ups and downs in the market. See accompanying tables for breakdowns of these top line private equity figures by stage of investment, plus public market performance comparators.