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.