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The London School of Economics has launched what it believes to be one of the first stand-alone masters degrees in private equity in the world. Enrolment on the degree will begin in October.

Ulf Axelson, MSc programme director, says the programme - which will have a particular emphasis on how private equity funds are raised and how they can be used in scaling-up cash flow - will help students develop a deeper understanding of active investing. “Over the last decade or so, private equity groups have bought stakes in more than 15,000 large firms worldwide and venture capitalists have become an increasingly important source of funding for entrepreneurs seeking start-up capital.”

The programme is intended to prepare students for careers within private equity firms, in investment banking or financial intermediation.

According to data compiled by Thomson Reuters, buyout deal-activity soared from $28bn globally in 1995 to a peak of more than $500bn in 2007. Since then, it has fallen to $81bn in 2009 because of the global economic crisis.

The programme is being financed by a donation from Abraaj Capital, the largest private equity group in the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia.


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