In recent years, the PE industry has subtly evolved to suit the varying needs of its participants. While sponsors have sought flexible vehicles with minimal barriers to entry that reduce costs and increase profits, investors have pursued active roles in the allocation and management of fund investments. Conveniently positioned to satisfy each of those demands, deal-by-deal funds – where dedicated vehicles invest in individual target opportunities – have become increasingly popular among PE sponsors and investors. This three-part series outlines the different features of, and important considerations when adopting, the deal-by-deal structure. This first article provides an overview of deal-by-deal funds and explores investor perceptions of the structure. The second article will explore the rolling fundraising process; analyze how the vehicle differs from the traditional PE approach; and detail key provisions to protect investors and sponsors. The third article will analyze the issue of deal uncertainty and how some sponsors overcome it, as well as how deal-by-deal funds handle various fees and expenses. See “Interest in Bespoke Fund Structures Surges As Markets Adjust to New Administration and Regulatory Regime” (Mar. 8, 2018); and “Beyond the Master-Feeder: Managing Liquidity Demands in More Flexible Fund Structures” (May 25, 2017).