Bain Capital’s investors are split

November 29, 2011, 9:00 PM UTC

Some private equity choices aren’t easy.

Earlier this year, we noted that Bain Capital was giving investors in its second Asia fund an unusual choice: Either pay a 1% management fee and 30% carried interest on your commitment, or a 2% fee and 20% carried interest.

Further complicating matters, the former comes with a 10% preferred return (i.e., hurdle rate that must be achieved before carried interest kicks in), while the latter has a 7% preferred return.

Bain’s one-and-thirty option seems to be what most limited partners claim they want, in that it presents fewer fixed costs and a greater alignment of interest between GP and LP. Two-and-twenty, however, is considered industry standard (albeit not for Bain, which is traditionally known for a 30% carry).

A source familiar with the process tells me that around $1.5 billion of the Asia fund’s $2 billion target is already spoken for, and that the participating LPs are almost evenly split as to which deal they’re taking. Within that group, funds-of-funds are the most likely to go with 1-and-30 while many of the traditional endowment and foundation managers are going with 2-and-20.

Will be interesting to see where it all plays out in the end, and if Bain will offer a similar choice when it begins raising its eleventh general fund next year.

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