As at December 2012, private equity assets under management (the uncalled capital commitments plus the unrealised value of portfolio assets) reached the highest figure to date, $3.3tn, displaying an increase of over $230bn since December 2011, and a growth figure of 8% over one year. However, it is worth highlighting that since the beginning of the millennium, assets under management figures have been experiencing a consistent increase, exhibiting particularly high growth figures of almost 40% between 2006-2007, and 2007-2008, prior to the onset of the financial crisis. The financial crisis saw a stagnation in the total AUM, displaying figures of $2,243bn as at December 2008, $2,445bn as at December 2009 and slightly increasing to $2,749bn as at December 2009. Since then, the average annual increase in the assets under management figure has been 10%.
The AUM figure of $3,272.6bn as at December 2012 consists of buyout funds accounting for the largest proportion of assets under management (39%), followed by real estate (18%) and venture capital (11%). Mezzanine funds account for the smallest proportion of just 4%, whilst growth funds account for 5% of total assets under management. The remainder – infrastructure, distressed private equity and remaining strategies – all account for around 7% each.
Current dry powder figures on Preqin’s Fund Manger Profile product show that as at December 2012, $944bn was available to private equity fund managers, accounting for 28.8% of the total AUM figure. Of the total dry powder amount, the most significant proportion is again attributable to buyout fund managers (38%), followed by real estate fund managers (17%) and venture fund managers (12%) . Mezzanine fund managers hold the smallest proportion of total dry powder, accounting for just 4%, with growth fund managers representing 7%, distressed private equity representing 8% and the remaining strategies accounting for 16% of the industry total.