Preqin’s Investor Intelligence currently tracks 1,392 Europe-based investors in private equity, of which the majority (82%) are based in West Europe. Private sector pension funds represent the highest proportion of Europe-based investors in private equity (17%), followed by public sector pension funds (12%), fund of funds managers (10%) and family offices which represent 9% of European LPs.
The majority of European LPs have a preference for venture capital vehicles (57%), followed by buyout (49%) and growth vehicles (37%). A third of Europe-based investors prefer to invest in funds of funds. In terms of location, the majority of European LPs prefer to invest in Europe (75%), within which just over a quarter have a preference for West Europe-focused funds. European investors with a preference for investing in North America make-up 41% of LPs, followed by economies outside of North America and Europe (30%). Greater China and South Asia are the most popular regions outside of North America and Europe, both attracting interest from 7% of European investors.
One European investor to have been active in the private equity space in 2013 is South Yorkshire Pensions Authority, which committed £7mn to Palatine Private Equity II, a UK focused buyout vehicle. European Bank for Reconstruction and Development also committed a total of €140mn across three private equity funds. These commitments include two East Europe-focused vehicles and one Africa-focused vehicle. Essex County Council Pension Fund also committed £5.1mn to NG Capital Partners II, a buyout vehicle targeting opportunities in Columbia and Peru.
Twenty-six percent of European LPs plan to commit to private equity funds over the next 12 months, 75% of which expect to do so immediately. The majority of European LPs plan to commit to buyout vehicles (56%), followed by venture capital (32%) and growth vehicles (30%). Two-thirds of European LPs planning to commit to private equity funds immediately will invest in Europe, followed by North America (41%) and emerging markets (25%).