Looking back: The five most-read stories of 2017

From momentous hires to strategy advice from those at the top, here are the stories that most piqued the interest of PEI readers this year.

It has been a busy year at Private Equity International. Over the last 12 months we’ve been at the heart of the industry, covering the stories that matter the most to you, our readers.

At this time of year, it’s always an interesting exercise for us to dive into the data and find out which stories received the most attention. It’s not always those we would have predicted.

Of course, it should be noted that our most-read stories of the year centre on our PEI 300 ranking of firms with the largest five-year fundraising totals, and the winners of our PEI Awards, revealed in our March Annual Review each year. For the purposes of accurately reflecting reader engagement with broader market conversation, these have been excluded from the list.

(Don’t forget nominations for the PEI Awards 2017 are now live – cast your vote here).

Here are the five most-read stories on privateequityinternational.com this year:

  1. CDPQ poaches PSP private equity senior director

In October, we broke the news that CDPQ, Canada’s second-largest pension fund manager, had poached senior private equity director Alexandre Décary from fellow institution PSP Investments. At PSP, Décary led a global team of 10 professionals responsible for managing more than C$10 billion ($8 billion; €7 billion) in assets including investments, strategy and operations.

  1. Hamilton Lane files for IPO

In a move that surprised many, in February asset manager Hamilton Lane announced plans to raise up to $200 million through an initial public offering on NASDAQ. The intention was to use some of the IPO proceeds to purchase membership units in Hamilton Lane Advisors from its existing owners and to pay down debt, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission at the time. In the event, the IPO raised about $170 million in net proceeds for a $1 billion enterprise value.

  1. Why Blackstone is moving toward permanent capital

In our report of Blackstone’s third-quarter earnings conference call in October, we zeroed-in on the firm’s plans to further expand permanent capital throughout its business lines. President and chief operating officer Tony James explained that with the traditional 10-year private equity fund, firms are often forced to sell good assets to return capital to investors, while these assets could be worth more if they were held longer.

  1. Coller: shared ownership ‘biggest mistake’ a new GP can make

At the IPEM 2017 conference in Cannes in January, secondaries industry pioneer Jeremy Coller, founder of Coller Capital, told delegates that one of the keys to success when starting a new private equity firm is to separate ownership of the management company from ownership of the fund. He said that while fund ownership should be shared, the management company needs to “build out a vision” around one leader when starting out.

  1. The 10 largest H1 2017 fund closes (and the LPs in them)

In August we broke down the 10 largest funds raised in the first half of 2017 – which between them netted just under $95 billion, more than 35 percent of all capital raised in the period – and took a look at the limited partners behind them. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the $323 billion California Public Employees’ Retirement System, whose private equity programme posted a 13.9 percent return for the 12 months ending 30 June, committed the most money in the first half, pledging a combined $1.59 billion to four of the 10 funds.