Preqin’s data shows that the top 30 fund managers have successfully collected an aggregate $1.2tn in private equity funds over the last decade. Blackstone Group sits at the top spot, with $119.3bn raised since 2004 (excluding their separate account mandates), followed in second place by Goldman Sachs ($110.5bn) and The Carlyle Group ($81.2bn) in third. There has been recent industry commentary of the tendency of the big players in private equity to outperform the rest of the field as we emerge from the economic downturn, with 2014 so far confirming this opinion.
Preqin’s Funds in Market data clearly demonstrates the recovery of the private equity industry since 2010, showing a strong upward trend for fundraising in particular, with $504.6bn of aggregate capital raised in 2013. During, and subsequently after, the uncertainty of the global financial crisis, investors seem to be much more comfortable placing their capital with the larger, more experienced private equity fund managers. For funds closed in 2013, the gap between the first-time fundraisers and the top 30 GPs was highlighted more than ever, with $171bn (34%) represented by the fundraising efforts of the top 30 managers alone, the highest proportion of aggregate capital the group has accounted for since 2008.
Even with this increased proportion in fundraising share, some of the top 30 are seeing fundraising efforts of a smaller size than some of their predecessor funds. Firms such as The Carlyle Group and Bain Capital have seen their current efforts to fundraise being some way behind the mega vehicles they raised before the economic crisis. Yet we are also seeing some of these firms returning to market with larger successor funds, such as Ardian and Providence Equity Partners. Even as the shadow of the crisis continues to supress some confidence for larger successor vehicles, a number of the top 30 are showing fundraising strength with continued increase in fund sizes.
The top 30 fund managers’ recent activity suggests that their momentum shows little sign of stopping, with a number of successful fund closures. Last month, TPG closed their buyout vehicle TPG Asia VI with $3.3bn in committed capital, and CVC Capital Partners Asia Pacific IV managed to garner almost $3.5bn in capital after less than a year on the road. Increased global expansion with new offices opening, as well as more large funds coming to market, indicate that this trend of success for the top 30 will continue.
For full analysis and more in depth coverage on the largest 30 private equity firms, see Preqin’s June edition of Private Equity Spotlight.