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Liquidity Transformation Risks and Stabilization Tools: Evidence from Open-end Private Equity Real Estate Funds

Spencer Couts
Open-end funds provide a liquidity transformation service by issuing and redeeming shares that are more liquid than their assets. However, because these assets are illiquid, managers need time to transfer capital to the underlying market. Liquidity buffers and liquidity restrictions enable this. Additionally, because of this illiquidity, their returns are predictable and susceptible to NAV-timing strategies which transfer wealth. I show NAV-timing strategies appear profitable on paper and investors appear to follow these strategies. I also show liquidity restrictions protect against these NAV-timing risks while liquidity buffers do not. In fact, liquidity buffers amplify them when added to liquidity restrictions.