15 years of PEI: The new GPs

Arif Naqvi 180

The Abraaj Group
2002

Arif Naqvi founded Dubai-headquartered Abraaj in 2002 and has grown the firm into one of the giants of emerging markets investing, with offices in more than 20 countries across Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Middle East. Today the firm manages more than private equity funds, according to PEI data, and sits in 44th place in the PEI 300 with a five-year fundraising total of $6.9 billion.

Hony Capital
2003

Founded by John Zhao, Chinese private equity firm Hony came on to the stage in 2003 and focuses on buyouts and the commercialisation of state-owned enterprises. This year the firm held a final close on its eighth fund above target on $2.7 billion, propelling it up the PEI 300 from 75th place to 41st. Notable deals include the $1.5 billion buyout of UK restaurant chain Pizza Express, and teaming up with Baring Private Equity Asia on the $3 billion privatisation of New York Stock Exchange-listed Chinese gaming company Giant Interactive.

Exponent Private Equity
2004

UK mid-market firm Exponent burst on to the scene in 2004, closing its first fund on £400 million after just five months. Set up by 3i’s London-based buyout team, Exponent has since raised three funds, its latest closing on its £1 billion ($1.2 billion; €1.1 billion) hard-cap in April 2015. This year it was a non-mover in the PEI 300 at 213, with $1.5 billion raised in the last five years.

Centerbridge Capital Partners
2006

Despite being just 10 years old, Centerbridge has more than $25 billion in assets under management. Set up by Jeffrey Aronson, who founded the leveraged loan business at Angelo Gordon, and Mark Gallogly, formerly head of private equity investment at Blackstone, Centerbridge focuses on leveraged buyouts, distressed-for-control and credit opportunities in North America. Its latest flagship fund, Centerbridge Capital Partners III, a 2014-vintage, closed on $6 billion.

RRJ Capital
2011

RRJ Capital has certainly made an impact, even though it has only been around for five years. It rocketed up the PEI 300 this year to 22nd place having raised $10.4 billion across three funds. RRJ was formed in 2011 by Malaysian investment banker Richard Ong, one of the three co-founders of China-based private equity firm Hopu Investment Management, and his brother Charles, a former chief investment officer at Singapore’s state investment corporation Temasek. Key investments include teaming up with Temasek on the €1.3 billion acquisition of NN Group, the European and Japan insurance and asset management operations of life insurance company ING Group.