Large-Cap Firm of the Year in Asia

1. KKR
2. Baring Private Equity Asia
3. Blackstone

KKR has been recognised for this award for the eighth time since this category was introduced in 2010. Last year might have been one of its most impressive on record: the firm raised $15 billion for the largest Asia-focused private equity fund in history and is understood to have deployed $3.3 billion in the region across 17 investments and follow-ons.

Mid-Market Firm of the Year in Asia

1. Everstone Group
3. Navis Capital Partners

The India and Southeast Asia specialist has won its fifth gong in this category after a year in which it was understood to have completed or signed seven exits. These included initial public offerings for Burger King India and industrial graphics business SJS Enterprises, both at a more than 4x multiple of invested capital, as well as a new investment in speciality ingredient business Calibre and a master franchise agreement with Subway.

Limited Partner of the Year in Asia

1. Temasek
2. CPP Investments
3. Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan

The Singaporean behemoth was recognised in this category for the fifth time overall and the third consecutive year for its launch in October of 65 Equity Partners, a S$4.5 billion ($3.3 billion; €2.9 billion) subsidiary that will invest directly across Southeast Asia, Europe and the US. Temasek is one of Asia’s biggest bulls when it comes to private equity, overseeing a roughly S$16.5 billion portfolio, according to Private Equity International data.

Deal of the Year in Asia

1. KKR for Seiyu Group
2. PAG for Wanda Commercial
3. CVC Capital Partners for Shiseido carve-out

KKR’s eighth award for Deal of the Year in Asia was given for its acquisition of Seiyu Group, one of Japan’s largest supermarket chains, last year. The firm is understood to have acquired a 65 percent stake in Seiyu, while e-commerce giant Rakuten acquired a 20 percent stake, in a deal that valued the business at approximately $1.6 billion.

Exit of the Year in Asia

1. MSA Capital for Boss Zhipin
2. CVC Capital Partners for Tidlor
3. Cathay Capital for Pinduoduo

MSA Capital’s PEI Awards debut rewards its transformation of Chinese recruitment platform Boss Zhipin, acquired in 2015 at a $36 million valuation, into a $14.9 billion business at the time of its US listing last year, representing a total gain of about $582 million, or a 90x money multiple. The growth equity and venture capital firm is one of the few in China to be majority-owned and led by women.

Fundraise of the Year in Asia

1. KKR
2. Bain Capital
3. Matrix Partners

It will surprise no one to learn that KKR was recognised for closing Asia’s largest ever private equity fund, its $15 billion Asian Fund IV, last year. Not only was the fund size a record for the region, but the number of limited partners that committed – 290 – was the most ever for a single KKR vehicle. Of these LPs, 80 were new to the firm.

Firm of the Year in Australasia

1. KKR
2. Quadrant Private Equity
3. BGH Capital

KKR scooped this award for the second consecutive year on the back of three investments in the region during the qualifying period, including New Zealand’s Natural Pet Food Group. It also saw consumer lending business Latitude complete a A$2.6 billion ($1.9 billion; €1.6 billion) IPO. The deals come at a challenging time for Australian large-caps, which, like many other markets, have struggled with stiff competition, overheated valuations and a limited pool of targets.

Firm of the Year in China

1. MSA Capital
2. KKR
3. Warburg Pincus

At a time when many investors put China activity on pause, growth equity and VC firm MSA Capital, which also scooped the award for Exit of the Year in China, was recognised as best in the country overall after completing six IPOs and exits over the qualifying period. These included Chinese recruitment platform Boss Zhipin for a total gain of about $582 million or a 90x money multiple.

Firm of the Year in India

1. Everstone Group
2. KKR
3. Baring Private Equity Asia

India’s private equity market has long been associated with troubled exits. Enter: Everstone. The India mainstay has received its 10th award in the country. This double-digit awards haul follows a year in which Everstone was understood to have completed or signed seven exits. Among these were IPOs for Burger King India and industrial graphics business SJS Enterprise. It also acquired a controlling stake in speciality ingredient business Calibre, and signed a master franchise agreement with Subway.

Firm of the Year in Japan

1. KKR

KKR knocked Japanese behemoth NSSK off the top spot to be recognised as the Firm of the Year in Japan for the second time. KKR made two new investments in Japan over the qualifying period, including the $1.6 billion acquisition of supermarket chain Seiyu, and one follow-on investment. The firm also saw medical device maker PHC list on the Tokyo Stock Exchange, in the biggest local IPO since 2018.

Firm of the Year in Korea

1. Carlyle Group
2. Anchor Equity Partners
3. IMM Private Equity

Carlyle Group has been recognised as a leader in Korea for the second time, having first received this award back in 2014. The Washington DC-headquartered firm signed or completed two hefty deals in Korea over the period, included the acquisition of café chain A Twosome Place from Hong Kong’s Anchor Equity for a reported $842 million. It also made a $200 million investment in taxi-hailing service Kakao Mobility.

Firm of the Year in Southeast Asia

1. KKR
2. Baring Private Equity Asia
3. CVC Capital Partners

A mainstay of the Asia categories, KKR added to its awards takings with its sixth consecutive gong for the Southeast Asia category. The US giant completed three investments in the region over the period, including a $45 million investment into Vietnamese software firm KiotViet and participation in a $167 million funding round for Filipino e-commerce business Voyager Innovations.

Fund of Funds Manager of the Year in Asia

1. HarbourVest Partners
2. LGT Capital Partners
3. Pantheon

This is HarbourVest Partners’ fourth win in this category since 2007 and its second-consecutive win since 2020. The Boston-headquartered firm had an active year, investing over $1 billion in Asia, including more than $400 million to more than 20 primary fund commitments and upwards of $450 million in direct co-investments in the region. It had also raised roughly $3 billion from Asian LPs in 2021 and opened an office in Singapore – its fifth in the region – in June 2021.

Placement Agent of the Year in Asia

1. Campbell Lutyens
2. Credit Suisse Private Fund Group
3. Asante Capital Group

Campbell Lutyens has bagged this category for the second year in a row. The firm’s achievements in the last year include the final closing of Adamantem Capital Fund III at A$791 million ($558 million; €493 million) above target in June, and the closing of Loyal Valley Capital’s third fund at $831 million in October. The firm also raised $2.8 billion as of November for a China growth/buyout manager for its fourth US dollar-denominated fund targeting $3 billion.

Law Firm of the Year in Asia (Fund Formation)

1. Kirkland & Ellis
2. Clifford Chance
3. Morrison & Foerster

Knocking Simpson Thacher & Bartlett off the top spot, Kirkland & Ellis has taken home this year’s Asia Fund Formation Law Firm of the Year award. Kirkland counselled clients on more than 24 fund closings in Asia over the last 12 months, representing $18.61 billion in capital commitments. This included: Lilly Asia Ventures’ sixth life sciences fund; Hosen Private Equity III; Dayone Capital’s first US dollar-denominated fund; and PAG’s second growth fund.

Law Firm of the Year in Asia (Transactions)

1. Kirkland & Ellis
2. Clifford Chance
3. Simpson Thacher & Bartlett

Kirkland & Ellis claimed the top spot again this year, having advised clients on notable transactions including acting as international co-counsel and sole debt financing counsel to an investor consortium to take private 51job, a provider of human resources in China. It also led for Bain Capital on its $200 million investment in Chinese online energy platform Newlinks Technology.