Looking back: Top five funds of 2016 – update

Fundraising figures for 2016 are already higher than the previous year, and include three funds closing above the $10bn mark.

It was a big year for fundraising in 2016, with three private equity funds closing above $10 billion in the past 12 months.

By mid-December, just over $400 billion had been raised globally, up from $384 billion raised in the 12 months of 2015, according to PEI data. This figure doesn't include the Apax IX fund, which closed on 20 December on $9 billion.

It also surpassed 2014's tally of $394.7 billion raised, although it has yet to overtake the $431.6 billion raised in 2013.

The top five funds raised in 2016 gathered $56 billion in commitments from limited partners. Most of them have a global scope, although Leonard Green focuses mainly on North America. 

Interestingly, none of the firms that raised the five largest funds are headquartered in New York, which is often considered the capital of the private equity world.

Here are the top five funds of 2016:

• Ardian closed its latest fund-of-funds on $14 billion, which included the largest dedicated secondaries platform ever raised, the $10.8 billion Ardian Secondary Fund VII. This is larger than its previous vehicle, which closed on $10 billion in 2014, and also surpassed the previous record holder as the largest secondaries fund, Lexington Capital Partners' Fund VIII, which closed on $10.1 billion in April 2015.

• Advent International launched its Advent International Global Private Equity VIII fund at the end of 2015 with no hurdle rate, but a 1.5 percent management fee. That didn't prevent the firm from quickly amassing $13 billion, closing on its hard-cap in March after being in the market for only six months. The vast majority, or 90 percent, of the capital came from existing investors.

• TPG closed its seventh flagship fund in May on $10.5 billion after 21 months spent on the road, taking a tad longer than other funds in this top five group, as the firm had to explain some failed deals of recent years including Washington Mutual, which collapsed in September 2008. But the fund still managed to close above its $10 billion hard-cap after being oversubscribed, while the firm has also raised separate funds focused on growth, real estate, Asia and credit in addition to TPG Partners VII.

• Los Angeles-based Leonard Green & Partners closed Green Equity Investors VII in June on $9.5 billion, which included a $500 million GP commitment. Not only did the firm reached its hard-cap, it also significantly increased its fund size from its $6.25 billion predecessor that closed in 2012. Leonard Green targets companies in consumer, retail, healthcare and wellness as well as business and consumer services, all predominantly in North America.

• Apax Partners held a final close of its ninth fund on its $9 billion hard-cap, beating its $7.6 billion target, after holding a first close on $7.9 billion in June. The fund's LP base was split 44 percent in North America, 23 percent in Asia, 21 percent in Europe and 12 percent elsewhere. It also includes corporate pensions, sovereign wealth funds, funds of funds, insurers, endowments and foundations.

This story was updated to reflect the Apax IX fund, which was announced on Tuesday.