What is Carried Interest?

What’s up, everyone? Today, let’s answer the question that both fund managers and investors need to understand: What is carried interest?

Carried interest refers to the share of profits that the General Partner(s) (GP) receive as compensation for their investment expertise and successful performance.

The GP and the fund manager can be the same party, but they are usually separated.

Understanding Carried Interest

Carried interest is a contractual arrangement between the fund manager and the limited partners, who invest their capital in the fund.

It represents a portion of the profits generated by the fund’s investments.

Carried interest is structured as a percentage of the profits realized by the fund.

Generally, 20% of the fund’s returns are distributed as carried interest unless the fund underperforms.

The fund manager receives their share of profits after the LPs have received their initial capital investment and a predetermined hurdle rate of return.

The purpose of carried interest is to align the interests of the fund manager with those of the limited partners.

By tying the manager’s compensation to the fund’s performance, it incentivizes the manager to generate returns for the investors.

Carried Interest and Taxation

One aspect that often sparks debates and controversies surrounding carried interest is its taxation.

In many jurisdictions, carried interest is treated as a capital gain, which is subject to a lower tax rate compared to ordinary income.

Critics argue that this preferential tax treatment is a “loophole” and benefits fund managers excessively, allowing them to pay lower taxes on their income.

On the other hand, some believe it encourages long-term investment and fosters economic growth by providing incentives for fund managers to take on higher-risk investments.

Regulatory Environment

In some countries like France and the UK, there have been discussions and proposals to change the tax treatment of carried interest to align it more closely with ordinary income tax rates.

These proposed changes aim to address the perceived inequity in the current tax treatment.

It is important for fund managers to stay updated on the regulatory landscape and any taxation changes.

Being aware of these developments can help them effectively plan and manage their investments.

Transparency and Disclosure

Similar to management fees, the fund’s offering documents outline carried interest and its terms.

These documents enable investors to evaluate the fund’s fee structure and understand how the fund manager will be compensated.


So, what is carried interest?

Carried interest is a portion of the return on investment that is distributed to the GP.

Carried interest plays a significant role in the compensation structure of investment funds, particularly in the realm of private equity and venture capital.

It aligns the interests of the fund manager and the limited partners, providing an incentive for the manager to generate profitable investment returns.

By staying informed and being aware of regulatory changes, investors can make informed decisions and evaluate investment opportunities effectively.

Thanks for reading!

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That’s it for today!


Bridger Pennington

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DISCLAIMER: This content is for educational and informational purposes only. It is not to be taken as tax, financial, or legal advice. You should always consult a legal professional before taking action. Furthermore, this is not a recommendation to buy or sell any security. The content is solely just the opinion of the author

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