Private equity’s mega-firms are morphing into diversified asset managers and steadily lining up to publicly list their franchises – but as a group, the top 50 of the world’s 300 largest firms have also been raising less private equity direct investment capital.
Those are just a few of the trends highlighted by the 2012 PEI 300, our sixth annual ranking of private equity firms by size. Measuring capital raised within a roughly five-year window, the global ranking includes firms with varying structures and strategies, as well as institutional investors with direct private equity investment programmes such as sovereign wealth funds.
This year’s ranking measures capital raised from January 2007, meaning that for the first time since we launched the PEI 300, firms’ totals do not include any funds closed in 2006 – many of which were substantial ‘boom-era’ funds. Combine that with the fact that, post-GFC, many GPs delayed fundraising and are only now returning to market (where they’re facing incredibly difficult conditions),
and it’s easy to understand some of the reshuffling in the ranks.