This research initiative for the study of private equity was launched in September 2010 by LSE and Dubai-based private equity firm Abraaj Group. Formerly named the Abraaj Capital Private Equity Research Programme, as of February 2013, it is renamed to Abraaj Group research initiative and is a research stem within the Corporate Governance and Finance Research Programme, based at the FMG. The initiative is headed up by Dr Ulf Axelson, Abraaj Group Reader in Finance and Private Equity.
The purpose of the initiative is to deepen the understanding of the increasingly important segment of the economy that private equity and venture capital constitutes. Since the start of the millennium, more than 15,000 large firms worldwide have gone through private equity ownership, and venture capitalists have become an increasingly important source of funding for entrepreneurs seeking start up capital.
The initiative also saw the creation of a MSc degree programme within the Department of Finance - the MSc Finance and Private Equity. This degree programme, also launched in September 2010, gives students a comprehensive foundation in all areas of finance, with particular depth in the field of private equity. It explores the structure of private equity funds and how they can be used in start-ups, in scaling-up cash flow businesses, and in restructuring firms facing financial distress. It also explores the link between private equity and venture capital on one hand, and public securities markets on the other.
Head of initiative