Preqin’s Fund Manager Profiles online service currently tracks 6,197 private equity fund managers, not including managers that focus solely on fund of funds or secondaries vehicles. Of these, 801 managers are known to have closed a fund in 2014, with a total of 914 vehicles closed in the year, raising $464bn. This blog will focus on the top 10 managers based on total capital raised in 2014, which collectively accumulated $84.2bn, 18% of the total capital raised by all funds closed in the year.
Blackstone Group raised the largest amount of capital in 2014, with one Europe-focused real estate vehicle closing on $9.2bn and an Asia-Pacific-focused vehicle closing on $5bn. Blackstone Group also looks for real estate opportunities within the US and Latin America, targeting a diverse range of underlying assets.
Following on from Blackstone Group, Bain Capital collected the second highest amount of capital in 2014, closing four vehicles to the value of $12.9bn. The final amount of capital raised was dominated by two buyout vehicles, Bain Capital Fund XI and Bain Capital Europe IV, which together brought in $11.9bn. The final $1bn was collected by Bain Capital Venture Partners 2014 and its corresponding co-investment vehicle. Bain Capital invests globally, with sub-divisions for its investments in Europe, India and Asia. The firm targets opportunities across a broad range of industries and often raises co-investment vehicles alongside its main funds.
Hellman & Friedman raised the largest amount of capital from a single fund in 2014; Hellman & Friedman VIII closed on $10.9bn. This single fund takes the firm to third place in terms of total capital raised in the year. The firm solely targets buyout investments in developed markets, though it considers a broad range of industries when making investments.
TPG and Carlyle Group also raised four funds each. Two vehicles attributed to TPG, a real estate and a distressed debt vehicle, were raised by its subsidiary, Castlelake. The other two funds were buyout vehicles, one focusing on North America and the other on opportunities in the APAC region.
It is generally the case that large, established fund managers find raising capital easier than smaller, emerging firms, and this is unlikely to change over the course of 2015. Despite this, a number of industry commentators have highlighted a growing appetite for risk among LPs, with increasing proportions being open to the idea of investing in first-time fund managers. This could potentially see capital begin to shift away from the larger firms in 2015, though to what extent remains to be seen.
*Totals exclude fund of funds and secondaries vehicles.