North American pension funds continue to be the most significant investors in private equity funds worldwide, according to new data compiled by PEI's Research & Analytics division.
The LP50, a ranking of private equity investors based on their fund commitments in the year to March, shows that the asset class's 50 biggest LPs committed a combined total of $75.2 billion to private equity funds during the period. The 10 biggest – eight of which are North American – accounted for about a third of that total.
The Canada Pension Plan Investment Board was the most active LP during the period, committing $3.99 billion to funds. That included $654 million to Behrman Capital’s $1 billion fund, a further $650 million to CVC Capital Partners’ €10.5 billion European fund, $295 million to FountainVest’s second ‘China Growth Fund’ and $300 million to Korea's MBK Partners’ third vehicle.
Like many large LPs, CPPIB has been increasing its exposure to direct private equity investing in recent years – it put an additional $2.9 billion to work in direct deals and follow-ons during the period. But it has continued to focus on primary fund commitments. It maintains relationships with more than 80 GPs through its investment teams in North America, Europe and Asia, with a minimum commitment size of $75 million.
Six US pension systems also made the LP50 top ten, with the California Public Employees’ Retirement System, the Washington State Investment Board, the Pennsylvania Public School Employees’ Retirement System and the Teachers Retirement System of Texas all committing more than $3 billion to private equity funds.
Hamilton Lane was the most active fund of funds group, committing $2.3 billion in the qualifying period – the seventh highest total of any LP. Adams Street Partners and Neuberger Berman also committed in excess of $1 billion to funds.
Dutch group APG Asset Management and Chinese sovereign wealth fund Safe Investment Company were the only non-North American investors in the top 10, committing $3.91 billion and $2 billion to funds respectively.
Click HERE to see the full LP50 ranking (including methodology)