10 largest PE funds haul in $160bn across 2022: Story of the Year

Advent International, Thoma Bravo and KKR led the pack of 2022’s biggest capital raisers.

Slow but healthy – that’s how most of the industry participants Private Equity International has spoken to in recent weeks and months described fundraising in 2022.

The aggregate volume has come down, yet that’s likely a base effect of the exuberant fundraising conditions witnessed last year – a period in which funds gathered some $733 billion, marking an all-time high, according to PEI data.

In the first three quarters of the year, some 1,015 funds gathered nearly $517 billion between them, PEI‘s Q3 fundraising report shows. In the year to mid-December, around $160 billion has been gathered by the 10 largest funds closed.

Topping the list is Advent International’s whopping $25 billion raise for GPE X, which came after less than six months in market. This represents a 40 percent increase on the amount gathered for its 2019-vintage predecessor.

Thoma Bravo’s $32.4 billion mega-fundraise across three buyout funds smashes the tech sector’s fundraising record. Its $24.3 billion flagship fund, Thoma Bravo Fund XV, which closed in early-December, is 37 percent larger than its predecessor. The tech giant also held final closes for its mid-market-focused Thoma Bravo Discover Fund IV on $6.2 billion and lower-mid-market-focused Thoma Bravo Explore Fund II on $1.8 billion.

KKR’s North America Fund XIII raised $19 billion against a $14 billion target in April – the firm’s largest-ever vehicle. At the heart of the fundraise is KKR’s broad-based employee ownership programme, which it aims to implement at all of its majority-owned companies, according to the firm.

Also in the mix: Insight Partners XII, which raised $17.23 billion – 43.6 percent higher than its target of $12 billion. PEI reported in November last year that Insight Partners was nearing $20 billion in its capital-raising efforts, which also includes affiliate vehicles. Capital raised will back start-ups and fast-growing software companies globally, with investments typically between $10 million and $350 million.

Alongside Thoma Bravo and Insight, tech specialists including Francisco Partners, Tiger Global Management and Hg also featured in the list, gathering $13.5 billion, $12.6 billion and $11 billion, respectively, for Francisco Partners VII, Tiger Global Private Investment Partners XV and Hg Saturn 3.

It is worth noting that Brookfield Asset Management raised $15 billion for its maiden fund, Brookfield Global Transition Fund, making it the “world’s largest private fund dedicated to facilitating the global transition to a net-zero carbon economy”, according to the firm.

While the largest capital raisers were mainly focused on North America, Asia had one of its biggest-ever funds dedicated to the region: BPEA EQT raised $11.2 billion for its eighth flagship, surpassing its $8.5 billion initial target. The Hong Kong firm’s latest offering was 72 percent bigger than its 2020-vintage predecessor. The vehicle also represent EQT’s debut foray into the Asia large-cap space, following its acquisition of the Asian firm early this year.

In the absolute sense, private equity fundraising is still looking tremendously strong, particularly given the number of mega-funds that held final closes this year. What’s more, the asset class is getting a lot more adoption and demand from the broader wealth management space.

Even so, today’s market is clearly one of the ‘haves’ and ‘have-nots’. LPs continue to back the well-established and top-performing managers with strong track records and a history of investing through cycles, as well as deploying innovative strategies as the market shifts.

For more coverage on the world’s largest private equity firms, access Private Equity International’s PEI 300 ranking.