Private Equity Fundraising in Europe: UK Continues to Dominate – October 2015

by Simon Li

  • 30 Oct 2015
  • PE

Despite the continued globalization and maturation of the private equity & venture capital industry, North America-based fund managers continue to dominate global fundraising. According to Preqin’s Fund Manager Profiles database, there are currently 4,677 active private equity and venture capital firms based in North America, compared with just 2,443 active firms based in Europe. Unsurprisingly, North America-based firms are raising significantly more funds than Europe-, Asia- and Rest of World-based managers. According to Preqin’s Funds in Market database, North America-based firms are currently raising 1,313 funds targeting an aggregate of €430bn, in comparison to Europe-based fund managers which are raising just 521 funds targeting an aggregate of €172bn. Nevertheless, Europe-based fund managers play an integral role in the global private equity landscape, and within Europe it is the UK that leads the way.

As the above table shows, the UK easily tops the European list both for number of active firms and aggregate capital raised in the last 10 years. The UK has more active private equity firms than the next three largest countries on the list combined. In the last 10 years, the UK has raised €334bn, demonstrating its dominance by raising more capital than all of the other countries in the table put together.

In terms of the most prominent strategy by proportion of aggregate capital raised over the last 10 years, only in Switzerland has a fund type other than buyout raised the largest proportion of capital, with mezzanine funds collecting the most. This can be primarily attributed to Partners Group, the country’s largest private markets investment firm in terms of aggregate capital raised. Since 1996, the Zug-based firm has invested in more than 100 businesses globally and currently has more than €25bn under management in private equity investment strategies.

According to a recent report from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), global growth is currently projected to be lower than it was in 2014, yet with a pickup anticipated in developed economies likely to lead to an increased flow of capital back to the advanced regions. With 521 Europe-based funds currently in market, the region’s managers are still confident in their ability to attract investor capital. So far this year, the UK has dominated Europe-based fundraising, collecting €31bn from 68 funds, with an additional 166 funds still in market aiming to raise over €72bn.

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