Looking back: Top five funds of 2017

Fundraising for this year is already higher than last year and includes four funds that closed above $10bn.

Private equity fundraising in 2017 has already surpassed last year’s and could become the highest year on record, according to PEI data.

As of 1 December, private equity funds had raised $484 billion, up more than 14 percent from $423.6 billion raised in all of last year. In 2008, private equity funds raised $527.3 billion, the strongest year on record for fundraising.

The top five funds raised this year gathered $81.5 billion in commitments from limited partners, significantly up from last year’s top five funds, which raised $56 billion.

Records include the largest private equity fund, the largest euro-denominated fund, the largest private equity fund dedicated to North America and the largest tech-focused fund.

Here are the top five funds of 2017:

  • Apollo Global Management raised the largest fund ever, Apollo Investment Fund IX, holding a final close on $24.7 billion in the third quarter after only six months on the fundraising trail. The firm will start investing from the fund in the first quarter of next year. Its previous flagship closed on $18.4 billion in 2013.
  • CVC Capital Partners VII closed on its €15.5 billion hard-cap in the spring and reached the final €16 billion through its GP commitment. The vehicle has a 6 percent hurdle rate, slightly below the 8 percent market standard, to reflect a lower return environment in private equity, according to CVC Capital Partners. The carried interest is set at a standard 20 percent.
  • Silver Lake closed on $15 billion for its Silver Lake Partners V, including a $500 million GP commitment. The Menlo Park, California-headquartered firm began fundraising last year with a $12.5 billion target. Its previous fund raised $10.3 billion in 2013. The fund targets buyout opportunities in technology sectors globally.
  • KKR Americas Fund XII closed on $13.9 billion in March to invest in the US, Canada and Mexico. The fund launched at the end of 2015 with a $12 billion target and has a 7 percent hurdle rate. Fund XI closed on $9 billion at the end of 2012. KKR also raised the largest pan-Asia fund, closing in on $9.3 billion in June.
  • The fifth-largest fund of the year as of 1 December was Clayton, Dubilier & Rice X, which closed on its $9.4 billion hard-cap. The fund garnered more than $20 billion in demand and closed on more than its $6.25 billion predecessor.

California Public Employees’ Retirement System, which had $25.9 billion in private equity assets as of 30 June, invested in all but one of the top five funds. It committed €500 million to CVC VII, $550 million to Apollo IX, $500 million to Silver Lake and $150 million to CD&R X. CalPERS considered a $750 million commitment in KKR XII, but ultimately passed.

Los Angeles Water & Power Employees’ Retirement Plan committed to CD&R X, Apollo IX and Silver Lake V, while Pantheon also committed to three of the top five: KKR XII, CVC VII and CD&R X. Teachers’ Retirement System of Louisiana committed to Silver Lake V, Apollo IX and CVC VII, PEI data show.