The UK is the base of a notable proportion of the 290 private equity fund of funds managers currently tracked by Preqin’s Investor Intelligence. The product shows that 105 (36%) such firms are based in European countries, 20 (19%) of which are headquartered in the UK. The majority (75%) of these firms are based in London, with the next highest proportion (10%) based in Edinburgh, and 5% have head offices in each Chelmsford, Oxford and Sheffield. In total, these 20 private equity fund of funds managers have aggregate assets under management of $113.8bn, the two largest being Altius Associates and Pantheon, which contribute just under $50bn towards to the total assets figure.
Altius Associates is the largest of these investors, with €18.8bn ($25.9bn) in private equity assets under management. The firm is an active player in the asset class, and is currently fundraising for its second fund of funds vehicle; Altius Associates Private Equity Fund II. Altius Associates invests in a range of private equity fund types, including buyout, venture capital, growth and mezzanine vehicles. It seeks global exposure to the asset class, and would consider investing in emerging markets.
The second largest private equity fund of funds manager based in the UK is Pantheon, which has $24bn invested in the asset class through a mix of primary and secondary investments, as well as through customized separate account mandates for its clients. The firm is currently on the fundraising trail for its latest fund of fund vehicle, Pantheon Emerging Market Fund. Pantheon is an active investor in third-party private equity vehicles, and considers a wide range of private equity fund types on a global scale, although the majority of its investment portfolio is made up of US-focused buyout vehicles.