Blackstone’s back, snatching the top spot in this year’s PEI 300 from The Carlyle Group with a five-year fundraising total almost $20 billion higher than the next runner up. The private equity juggernaut hauled in a total of $82.9 billion over the five-year rolling period to 1 April 2019, a nearly 60 percent increase on its five-year tally in 2018 and more than $20 billion higher than Carlyle’s 2018 total.
One theme ties together all the firms in this year’s top 10: no longer are they confining themselves to raising consecutive flagship buyout funds. Each has at least two other fund families, either in different strategies within private equity or within the rest of the alternative assets realm.
Managers are responding to demand from within the LP community to commit larger equity cheques to a smaller number of GPs they know and trust – often in the expectation of lower fees. Offering a variety of strategies creates a “one-stop-shop” for institutional investors looking for diversified exposure to the asset class with lower overheads and less paperwork.
Take Blackstone, for example. In the last year alone, the firm has launched three new private equity platforms – life sciences, growth equity and, most recently, impact investing. Each already has, or will eventually have, its own fund. Its five-year fundraising total includes capital collected for five different strategies.
And that’s nothing compared with Carlyle, which has raised capital across 13 fund families – all within the boundaries of private equity.
But don’t think for a moment the flagship funds have been pushed by the wayside. In the last few months Blackstone has amassed at least $22.2 billion towards what will likely become the largest private equity fund ever raised. Carlyle closed its latest flagship buyout fund on $18.5 billion this year. The latest flagship fund from CVC Capital Partners (4), closed in 2017, set the record for the largest-ever euro-denominated fund. And Thoma Bravo (8) – the only sector specialist in the upper echelons of the list this year – shattered its $9 billion target for Fund XIII to hold a final close on its $12.6 billion hard-cap.