Three firms taking the private equity world by stealth

In our latest Deep Dive we highlight three firms quietly shaping the future of private equity.

When we think about the industry’s biggest players, what are the images we conjure up? Successive buyout funds of increasing size, from millions in the 1990s to tens of billions today; and other asset classes conquered, one by one, with commingled funds built up or bought in.

But there are private equity firms out there breaking that mould and shaping the industry – without making too much noise.

This week we published our latest Deep Dive introducing three such firms: France-listed Eurazeo, Bahrain-headquartered Investcorp and New York-headquartered Neuberger Berman. These firms have managed to amass tens of billions of dollars between them for alternative investments, and yet large swathes of not just the broader financial world but the private equity community itself knows very little about them.

If you’ve yet to check out the feature in its entirety, a great place to start is this short video introducing each firm, their growth trajectories and their philosophies.

With more than $135 billion between them for alternative assets, they won’t just be a major part of the private equity landscape in five or 10 or 20 years’ time – they’re a major part of the private equity landscape today.

Eurazeo has grown from the sleepy parking spot for Lazard’s asset holdings into a dynamic multi-strategy firm poised to conquer the US and Asian markets.

Investcorp has matured from a conduit for Middle Eastern family money looking for a home in the West to a multi-asset class giant with its sights set on US institutional capital and $50 billion in AUM. (Bear in mind that this figure was $10.8 billion at the end of June 2016.) This rapid growth strategy comes with challenges, not least balancing the interests of old investors with the new.

Neuberger Berman, famous for its GP-interests strategy Dyal, has been innovating around the alternative assets model to answer the increasingly demanding needs of its clients, creating an impressive suite of products in the process. The capital amassed by NB Alternatives in the last decade – that’s $90 billion in AUM as of June – has allowed the firm to invest on a scale that’s out of reach for many in the industry.

Each got its start in a different way and each has followed a different path; all are leaving their marks on the private equity industry.

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