The 2013 PEI 300: TPG remains world’s biggest firm

Our exclusive global ranking shows just how far private equity fundraising has fallen since the boom years -- even for some of the industry's biggest beasts.

TPG is still the biggest private equity firm in the world, according to the PEI 300, despite an overall slide in fundraising totals.

The PEI 300, which is compiled by Private Equity International's Research & Analytics division, measures how much money firms have raised for direct private equity investment in the previous five years. TPG's total of $35.7 billion meant it topped the ranking for the third successive year, ahead of the Carlyle Group in second place ($32.8 billion) and The Blackstone Group in third ($29.5 billion). 

However, overall fundraising numbers are substantially down on last year, partly because this was the first year when the 2007 boom-era funds did not count towards the final totals. Last year, the PEI 300 had collectively raised $1.31 trillion in the previous five years. This year, the equivalent figure is $1.13 trillion – a near $200 billion drop.

A list of the top 50 firms in the PEI 300 can be found here.

The full PEI 300 list is explored in the May issue of Private Equity International.

The decline is particularly noticeable for the 50 largest firms, whose five-year fundraising total has fallen from $704.4 billion last year to $585.7 billion this time around. Even TPG's winning total was almost a third down on last year's figure of $49.6 billion.

Nonetheless, there were some notable success stories. Advent International, for example, jumped into the top 10 of our ranking for the first time after raising its largest fund to date last year: its new €8.5 billion vehicle means it has now amassed $23 billion over the past five years, propelling it to 7th place in the PEI 300. 

This year's PEI 300 also provides clear evidence of how capital flows are changing. 

European firms seem to be becoming less attractive to investors. Last year, European firms on the list had accumulated $230 billion over the preceding five years, or 18 percent of the total capital raised by the PEI 300. This year, that number had fallen to $180 billion, or 16 percent of the overall total. 

However, Asia remains a positive story, with four Chinese firms making the top 50. China-based RRJ Capital was the biggest climber on this year’s list, jumping to 48th spot with a five-year fundraising total of $5.8 billion. The other three firms to make the top 50 were CDH Investments, up 15 places to number 35 with a total of $6.5 billion; Hony Capital, ranked 41st with $6.2 billion; and China Investment Corporation, ranked 32nd with $6.9 billion. 

Overall fundraising totals may have dropped. But the PEI 300 clearly shows that some firms – particularly in emerging markets – continue to adapt to the new environment, attract new investors and claw their way up the ranks.

For a full report on the PEI 300, complete with detailed analysis, please read the May issue of Private Equity International.