What Do Private Equity Firms Say They Do? We survey 79 private equity investors with combined AUM of over $750B about their practices in firm valuation, capital structure, governance, and value creation. Investors rely primarily on IRR and multiples to evaluate investments. Their LPs focus more on absolute performance. Capital structure choice is based equally on optimal trade-off and market timing considerations. PE investors anticipate adding value to portfolio companies, with a greater focus on increasing growth than on reducing costs.