Private-equity firms are doing more of their own investment banking work, which brings fees but also risks and costs

The $3.7 billion buyout of a Dutch parking lot company doesn’t sound like the most exciting deal—but the way it was done shows that big private-equity firms can now behave like old fashioned investment banks. They can use their own balance sheets to move quickly, make big bets and earn fees from partners.

But as they become more powerful on Wall Street, there are greater risks of conflicts and scrutiny.

When...

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