What are the Top 25 Private Equity Firms and How Much Did They Raise Recently?

February 19, 2018

Private Equity International is out with their annual PEI300 report, which details the top 300 private equity firms by amount raised.  Before looking, which companies would you guess would be on top?

The Broader View

Before taking a look at the list of the top 25 private equity firms, how much would you guess the top 300 firms (according to Private Equity International) raised in the past five years?  How much of the total would you guess went to the top 50 firms?  How much of the total would you guess went to just the top 10 firms?

Amazingly, over the past five years, the top 300 private equity firms raised about $1.352 trillion.  The private equity industry is certainly not dead.  Of that total $1.352 trillion, how much went to the top 50 firms?  Interestingly, about 56 percent of private equity capital raised went to the top 50 firms.  How much went to the just the top 10 firms?  An astonishing 24 percent went to the top 10 firms.  The private equity industry sure is top heavy.

The Top 5

Perhaps completely unsurprising, taking the top spot is Blackstone.  The New York City-headquartered firm raised a massive $58.3 billion from 2012 to 2017.  In second place is KKR, also headquartered in New York.  KKR raised a total of $41.6 billion over the past five years.  In third place is Washington, DC-based The Carlyle Group at $40.7 billion.  Rounding out the top five are Fort Worth-based TPG Capital at $36.1 billion and New York-based Warburg Pincus at $30.8 billion.


Ranks 6 Through 10

The top 5 probably provided little surprise to individuals closely connected with the industry.  What about the bottom half of the top 10?

Interestingly, in sixth place is Advent International Corporation at nearly $27.0 billion (headquartered in Boston).  The other four members of the bottom half of the top 10 include Apollo Global Management ($24.0 billion, New York), EnCap Investments ($21.2 billion, Houston), Neuberger Berman Group ($20.4 billion, New York), and CVC Capital Partners ($19.9 billion, London).

Of all the surprises in this list is perhaps the observation that only one private equity firm – CVC Capital Partners – is headquartered outside of the United States.  Businesses headquartered outside of the United States are growing, but they still lag behind the massive advantage U.S.-based private equity firms have.


Ranks 11 Through 25

Let’s round out the top 25.  Before looking at the list, which firms were you surprised missed the top 10?  Were you surprised that no west coast firms headquartered in the U.S. showed up in the top 10?  What about China-based private equity firms?  Were you surprised by the lack of any Chinese firms at the top?

Included in the top 25 are Bain Capital ($18.2 billion, Boston), Thoma Bravo ($17.2 billion, Chicago), Vista Equity Partners ($17.2 billion, Austin), Apax Partners ($17.0, London), Clayton, Dublier & Rice ($16.7 billion, New York), Cinven ($16.6 billion, London), Leonard Green & Partners ($15.9 billion, Los Angeles), Ares Management LLC ($14.7 billion, Los Angeles), BC Partners ($14.2 billion, London), Permira Advisers ($13.6 billion, London), Riverstone Holdings ($13.1 billion, New York), Goldman Sachs Principal Investment Area ($12.0 billion, New York), Silver Lake ($11.7 billion, Menlo Park), Ardian ($11.3 billion, Paris), and Hellman & Friedman ($10.9 billion, San Francisco).



In an interesting review of the top 25 private equity firms across the world according to Private Equity International, perhaps the most surprising finding is the continued dominance of U.S.-based firms within the private equity realm.  Financial firms headquartered in other areas of the globe are catching up, but still lag by significant amounts.

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