We do one thing… Private Markets.
Bella Private Markets focuses exclusively on providing solutions to the challenges facing the private capital industry. Led by Dr. Josh Lerner, a senior faculty member and Chair of the Entrepreneurial Management Unit at Harvard Business School, Bella combines rigorous academic approaches with real world industry expertise to provide actionable insights for our clients. We focus on complex, customized projects that require thorough analysis, whether quantitative or qualitative in nature, to help our clients improve performance, optimize operations, and chart winning strategies for the future.

Private Equity Findings Issue 13

Bella Private Markets collaborated with the Coller Research Institute to produce the thirteenth issue of Private Equity Findings, a publication that curates the most important cutting-edge academic research on private equity and brings together leading practitioners to discuss its implications. This issue examines how private equity ownership affects product pricing, the impact of management teams on company performance, persistence of returns among fund managers, and the status of entrepreneurship in the United States, among other topics. Find the full publication here.

Bella research in the Journal of Private Equity

In recent research published in the Journal of Private Equity, we closely examined emerging market private equity relative to developed markets, quantitatively evaluating factors such as economic growth, market composition, deal structures, exit opportunities, and manager performance. We found that despite recent downturns, emerging markets are experiencing overall rapid growth. Moreover, private equity investments appear to focus on companies in high-growth sectors that are underrepresented in public markets, thereby allowing limited partners more balanced exposure to a country’s economic drivers. To see our complete findings, download the full article here.

Fintech: Catalyst for (r)evolution

Investor interest in fintech is at an all time high. From payments to blockchain, and everything in between, fintech solutions have the power to shape and reshape financial sectors across the globe. But how will the disruptive wave of fintech spread across different markets? What will fintech’s influence look like, and what kind of opportunities exist for investors, startups, and incumbent financial institutions? Bella analyst Alex Billias dives into global fintech trends, comparing fintech’s penetration in different markets, its potential for disruption, and its role in shaping the future of global financial services. Read the full post here.

Diverse Asset Management Study

Just 1.1 percent of the assets in private equity, mutual, hedge and real-estate funds is managed by firms that are substantially owned by women or minorities. In a recently published study funded by the Knight Foundation, we offer the first comprehensive look at diverse ownership of asset management firms. In addition to quantifying the representation of women- and minority-owned firms in the U.S. asset management industry, this report also explores the performance of diverse-owned funds and finds them to perform just as well as the industry overall. See the full report here.

We serve as trusted advisors to the senior management of organizations across the private market landscape, including fund managers, asset owners, and other market participants interested in funding innovation and entrepreneurship.

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For Asset Owners

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Our work has taken us around the globe. Explore some of our past projects.

weaving rainbow

A Regional Platform to Share Best Practices

Client Type: Market Participant

Solution: Policy Development and Assessment

We designed and led a two-day conference in Colombia to bring together Latin American private equity and venture capital fund managers and limited partners to share lessons from their experiences and to strengthen the region's PEVC ecosystem. In addition to creating a platform for participants to share ideas, the conference also solicited feedback from attendees for public policymakers about ways in which the venture capital and private equity environment could be improved.
humpback whale

Sector Specific Deep Dive

Client Type: Fund Manager

Solution: Enhancing Internal Operations and Strategy

We produced a deep dive report into a specific sector to identify promising future investment strategies. By analyzing the evolution of that industry in other emerging and developed markets, we outlined possible trajectories for the Indian market and recommended specific strategies for creating value in this evolving space.
Spiral Staircase

Targeted Performance Analysis

Client Type: Fund Manager

Solution: Fundraising

We provided a robust performance analysis of a private equity firm's historical track record to support its efforts to raise a new fund. In a detailed analysis, we recast the performance of the firm's prior funds, many of which had atypical fund structures, in the same fund terms offered by the new offering. This allowed potential limited partners to easily understand the firm's intricate track record and properly assess the investment opportunity.
puzzle pieces

Annual Conference

Client Type: Fund Manager

Solution: Enhancing Internal Operations and Strategy

We worked with a consortium of mid-market PE firms to develop an annual three-day training program for staff of varying levels of seniority. Taught by world class instructors, the programs addressed topics including leadership, negotiations, talent management, operational improvement, marketing, and strategy development. We worked with the clients and instructors to identify the proper mix of cases, lectures, and exercises and develop custom class material.
clock mechanism

Advisory Support

Client Type: Fund Manager

Solution: Enhancing Internal Operations and Strategy

Working on an extended advisory capacity, we provided custom research to help a fund manager consider different fund and incentive structures.
Retro Lights

The Corporate Innovator

Client Type: Market Participant

Solution: Internal Innovation

We developed and presented a series of talent development workshops for a publicly-traded company. The series of workshops spanned several years and focused on issues surrounding the generation and execution of innovative projects within the company. To support the workshops, we developed a series of full-length custom case studies featuring the company's recent projects and other relevant teaching materials.
tops of trees

Building a Venture Capital Ecosystem

Client Type: Market Participant

Solution: Policy Development and Assessment

We supported a government agency's efforts to encourage domestic innovation by developing a thorough diagnostic of best practices in similar efforts around the globe. Based on interviews of global experts and extensive secondary research, the final report identified obstacles and success factors in creating venture capital and innovation ecosystems.
lighting matches

Catalyzing Innovation

Client Type: Market Participant

Solution: Policy Development and Assessment

We assessed the impact of regional efforts to encourage innovation and entrepreneurship. Based on interviews with 120+ individuals and extensive secondary research, we traced the impact of these efforts and considered ways to target spending for more immediate results.
mangrove above and below water

A Forum for Development

Client Type: Market Participant

Solution: Policy Development and Assessment

We designed and executed the program for multiple conferences sponsored by a major development finance institution. The annual forums provide opportunities for fund managers to network, share experiences, and develop best practices. We produced and presented custom investment cases based on attendee interviews and produced white papers to proliferate insights from the event. View one such paper here.
View the Report
washington monument

Assessing Patent Policy

Client Type: Market Participant

Solution: Custom Research

We conducted a detailed assessment of the impact on small businesses of the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act, a major piece of legislation concerning the U.S. patent system. Through rigorous quantitative analysis and a comprehensive literature review, we compiled key findings regarding the likely effects of the legislation and made a series of recommendations to further assess and measure the impact of the policy moving forward. A summary of the research findings can be found here.
View the Report
magnifying glass

A Closer Look at Value Creation

Client Type: Market Participant

Solution: Custom Research

We researched the specific, practical methods of adding value to portfolio companies. We interviewed CEOs who implemented value creation programs in 12 companies acquired by private equity firms known for their ability to improve operations. Drawing from academic research and interviews with private equity firm partners who specialized in finance and operations, we determined the “4 Ps” of value creation.
Nebula

Investing in Space

Client Type: Market Participant

Solution: Custom Research

We closely mapped the evolution of VC investment activity in low-earth orbit, with a special focus on interactions involving the International Space Station. Based on extensive research and interviews, the final report described historical activity and recent changes, noting the activity of privately funded work in nano- and micro-satellites, non-government launch vehicles, and launch concierge services. The final report is included in a NASA publication available here.
View the Report
abstract grunge painting

Asset Manager Diversity

Client Type: Market Participant

Solution: Custom Research

We quantified the representation of women and ethnic/racial minorities in ownership positions at asset management firms in the United States. We compiled and analyzed data from several commercial databases for the mutual fund, hedge fund, private equity, and real estate industries to examine the trends in diverse ownership over time and assess the performance of funds managed by diverse-owned firms compared to non-diverse funds. View the full report here.
View the Report
abstract texture painting

Corporate Venture Capital Program Evaluation

Client Type: Market Participant

Solution: Internal Innovation

We analyzed a Fortune 100 company’s corporate VC efforts and provided a series of recommendations for enhanced effectiveness. The report was based on a series of interviews with executives who interacted with the VC effort in various ways, as well as portfolio company CEOs and external venture capitalists who had worked with the group.
tree stump

Governing for the Long-Term

Client Type: Fund Manager

Solution: Enhancing Internal Operations and Strategy

We prepared a one-day workshop for the executives, investors, and board of directors of a U.S. long-lived fund. The workshop focused on the governance and evaluation of long-term investments and included a series of custom vignettes and exercises to facilitate and guide meaningful discussions among participants. Following the event, we prepared and disseminated a report summarizing the key insights from the workshop.
space shuttle launch

Launching a CVC

Client Type: Market Participant

Solution: Internal Innovation

We advised a publicly-traded U.S. company on the creation of its corporate venturing program. We conducted interviews with key executives at the company to determine the primary goals and optimal design of the program. Drawing on our founding partners' industry expertise combined with insights from academic and industry research, we made specific recommendations regarding the structure, governance, and evaluation of the corporate venture capital program.
Traditional handmade dala horse

Improving the PE Pipeline

Client Type: Fund Manager

Solution: Enhancing Internal Operations and Strategy

We conducted a comprehensive review of a mid-market private equity firm's due diligence process. Through analysis of firm data and employee interviews and surveys, we identified and addressed inefficiencies and developed solutions that optimized partner time and streamlined the investment committee decision-making process.
south america globe

Supporting a Regional Leader

Client Type: Fund Manager

Solution: Enhancing Internal Operations and Strategy

We serve as trusted advisors to a regional investment firm, providing strategic support in topics ranging from fundraising and investor relations to growth and expansion efforts. We also speak at events sponsored by the firm to present research on the development of the region's PEVC ecosystem and related topics.
colorful powder

Long-lasting Advisory Partnership

Client Type: Fund Manager

Solution: Enhancing Internal Operations and Strategy

In an ongoing advisory relationship, we worked with a mid-market PE firm to train its portfolio company CEOs, facilitate strategy off-sites for the firm’s staff, and develop annual research projects.
exit sign

Preparing for Profitable Exits

Client Type: Fund Manager

Solution: Enhancing Internal Operations and Strategy

We designed and presented a three-day workshop for the internal investment staff of a buyout and growth equity firm. The program focused on key strategies for realizing value in the rapidly evolving PEVC industry, including the important steps early in the investment process to prepare portfolio companies for profitable exits in the future.
harvesting carrots

Optimizing Incentives and Compensation

Client Type: Fund Manager

Solution: Enhancing Internal Operations and Strategy

We advised a leading alternative investment manager on the restructuring of its team's compensation and incentive structure. The report and recommendations compiled information from industry data and reports, academic research, and our firm's intimate knowledge of the PEVC industry. We augmented this work with a series of performance analyses that benchmarked the firm's track record against its peers and identified key areas of competitive advantage.
cactus plant

Advising for Growth

Client Type: Fund Manager

Solution: Enhancing Internal Operations and Strategy

We conducted an in-depth review of a mid-market PE firm’s options for growth and evaluated its internal structure. We've continued the relationship in an advisory capacity, attending annual LP meetings, holding monthly check-in calls, and producing annual research projects.
starry night sky

Quarterly Performance Benchmarking

Client Type: Fund Manager

Solution: Fundraising

We provide comprehensive performance tracking and benchmarking for a major emerging markets PE fund on a quarterly basis, comparing overall and fund-by-fund performance against relevant public and private market benchmarks. We also evaluated the sources of value creation within the firm through a detailed attribution analysis that assessed the proportion of returns created through market selection, use of leverage, and portfolio company outperformance.
dandelions

Planning to Expand

Client Type: Fund Manager

Solution: Fundraising

We performed a comprehensive performance assessment for a mid-market PE firm to evaluate its competitive advantages and inform the firm's expansion strategy.
dart on dartboard

Raising a Targeted Fund

Client Type: Fund Manager

Solution: Fundraising

We conducted an extensive evaluation of an emerging market PEVC fund manager's Latin American portfolio, and placed its performance in the context of a series of relevant public and private equity benchmarks. Additionally, we combined the firm's investments in a certain country--investments that had been made through multiple regional funds--into a single hypothetical fund in order to examine the firm's track record in that country and evaluate the potential for a country-specific fund.
london bus and big ben

Curating Research for Practical Application

Client Type: Fund Manager

Solution: Thought Leadership

We partnered with a global PE firm to produce a semiannual publication that gathers cutting edge research on the private equity industry and engages academics and practitioners to discuss its practical implications for alternative asset investors. View an issue of PE Findings here.
View the Report
lotus flower bud

PEVC Insights for Emerging Market Investors

Client Type: Fund Manager

Solution: Thought Leadership

Using proprietary data as well as publicly available information, we created a series of working papers that provided a comprehensive assessment of emerging markets private equity. The papers examined various topics such as the evolution of private equity investment, prevalence and impact of various exit routes, the relative merits of minority and majority investments, and the relationship between public and private markets. The first paper in the series is available here.
View the Report
jars of coins

Establishing a PEVC Program

Client Type: Asset Owner

Solution: Understanding PEVC

We distilled key insights from academic and industry research as well as our founding partners' decades of experience to provide a multinational corporation with a thorough introduction to the private equity industry and help its management team develop a strategy to enter the private equity space.
paper map

Latest Insights on Global PE Investing

Client Type: Asset Owner

Solution: Understanding PEVC

We produced a comprehensive guide to current thinking and best practices in private equity investing for a large institutional investor. The research touched on various topics such as return premiums, risk assessment, and performance persistence.
abstract sunset

Workshop on PEVC Incentive Structure

Client Type: Asset Owner

Solution: Optimizing the Portfolio

We developed and conducted a one-day workshop for a major institutional investor's investment team. The workshop focused on the incentive structures involved in PE limited partnerships, the impact of these incentives on fund manager behavior and performance outcomes, and the implications of incentives on fund selection.
ceiling glass

Optimizing Limited Partner PEVC Portfolios

Client Type: Asset Owner

Solution: Optimizing the Portfolio

In a multifaceted project, we performed a comprehensive evaluation of the investment activities of a large institutional investor and provided a series of quantitative tools to help the group optimize its private capital portfolio moving forward. We assessed and benchmarked the group's returns across different geographies and asset classes, and examined the impact of exchange rate fluctuations on the private capital portfolio's performance. We also assessed the relative value generated in various steps of the group's asset allocation process, such as allocating assets across regions, strategies, and fund managers. Additionally, we examined issues surrounding the optimal number of funds in the private capital portfolio, the selection of top performing fund managers, and the identification of the most promising regions in which to invest.
wooden wave pattern

Data-Driven Portfolio Allocation

Client Type: Asset Owner

Solution: Optimizing the Portfolio

We developed a methodology to help a major North American institutional investor quantitatively assess industry conditions and trends to inform future allocation decisions across geographies and industries.
abstract impasto painting

Evaluating a Family Office PEVC Portfolio

Client Type: Asset Owner

Solution: Assessing Performance

We conducted a comprehensive performance assessment of the private capital portfolio of a family office, measuring and benchmarking performance across different geographies and asset classes. We also performed custom research on topics surrounding PE investing, such as succession within PE firms and the competitive dynamics of the industry.
road through village

Investing in Frontier Markets

Client Type: Asset Owner

Solution: Assessing Performance

We evaluated the performance of a development finance institution's investments in pre-frontier market VC funds and offered specific recommendations on how to enhance the program moving forward. We conducted over 80 interviews of fund managers, portfolio company managers, government officials, bankers, and other subject matter experts to supplement the sparse data and provide a detailed snapshot of the impact of each fund.
iguana falls

The Impact of Early Stage Investing

Client Type: Asset Owner

Solution: Assessing Performance

We analyzed the impact of a major development finance institution’s investments in three different VC funds across Latin America. Through extensive research and interviews with more than 60 investment professionals and portfolio company CEOs, we created case studies of the funds, profiled key portfolio companies, and provided tactical recommendations to support future investment activities and streamline internal impact assessment procedures.
View the Report
abstract fragment orange, yellow, green

Direct Investing Versus Fund-of-Funds Strategy

Client Type: Asset Owner

Solution: Assessing Performance

We investigated the impact of a large development finance institution's global emerging markets investment strategy. Based on interviews, data analysis, and extensive secondary research, we determined the lessons to be learned from a fund-of-funds strategy relative to a direct investment approach.
Dr. Josh Lerner and Ann Leamon

Meet Our Partners

Bella Private Markets is guided by the expert leadership of its two founding partners, Dr. Josh Lerner and Ann Leamon. After working together at Harvard Business School for a decade, the two partnered in 2010 to found Bella and respond to the needs of private capital industry. With more than 45 years of combined experience, Josh and Ann bring unparalleled expertise and insight to our clients.

Learn more about our founding partners.