The PEI 300 ranks the world’s largest private equity firms based on how much money they have raised in the past five years. But some of the GPs have increased their importance in other ways: in recent years, the private equity market has evolved so firms now manage funds that own pieces of their peers.
One way to do that has been through funds of firms. Neuberger Berman, for example, is ranked in eighth position, but its funds hold stakes in at least six firms in the ranking, including Vista Equity Partners, Silver Lake and EnCap Investments.
This is also true of Blackstone, which ranks second. The firm’s funds owns stakes in three private equity general partners, including Kohlberg & Co and PAG, which it acquired this year.
And funds of firms are not the only option. More and more firms are publicly traded, giving GPs the opportunity to buy into their rivals simply by purchasing stock. Tiger Global Management has a 17 percent stake in Apollo Global Management, while Securities and Exchange Commission filings recently revealed TPG Group Holdings has a small stake in Hamilton Lane.