The formulas, tricks and trade secrets of Private Equity

Top 50 Private Equity Firms

Sample Chapter

You’d imagine the top private equity firms (as measured by fundraising) change year-to-year. However, if you compare the 2011 and 2009 lists from PE media, you’d see few changes, especially in the top 10. In fact, the top 4 haven’t changed in ranking at all.

What’s interesting, until you take the GFC into account, is that the amounts raised in the five years up to 2009 were slightly higher that that raised by the top private equity firms in 2001. There’s lots of speculation about the GFC putting so-called ‘pump-and-dump’ strategies into question, but I’ve talked at length about the resilience of top private equity firms; they really are self-fulfilling machines with more than enough wherewithal to weather a downturn in sentiment.

RankMoveFirm$m Raised (5yrs)
1UpTPG Capital Fort Worth (Texas)$50,553.20
2DownGoldman Sachs Principal Investment Area New York$47,224.00
3DownThe Carlyle Group Washington DC$40,540.94
4DownKohlberg Kravis Roberts New York$40,215.90
5UpThe Blackstone Group New York$36,418.68
6DownApollo Global Management New York$33,813.00
7UpBain Capital Boston$29,402.69
8DownCVC Capital Partners London$25,068.77
9UpFirst Reserve Corporation Greenwich (Connecticut)$19,063.50
10UpHellman & Friedman San Francisco$17,200.00
11DownApax Partners London$16,637.67
12UpGeneral Atlantic Greenwich (Connecticut)$15,100.00
13DownWarburg Pincus New York$15,000.00
14StableCerberus Capital Management New York$14,900.00
15DownAdvent International Boston$14,519.51
16StablePermira London$13,572.40
17UpOaktree Capital Management Los Angeles$13,045.97
18UpTerra Firma Capital Partners London$12,249.90
19DownProvidence Equity Partners Providence (Rhode Island)$12,100.00
20DownClayton Dubilier & Rice New York$11,404.00
21UpCharterhouse Capital Partners London$11,268.08
22DownTeachers’ Private Capital Toronto$10,758.62
23UpMadison Dearborn Partners Chicago$10,600.00
24UpTA Associates Boston$10,547.50
25UpSilver Lake Menlo Park$10,500.00

If you’re looking to enter the world of private equity, don’t be fooled into thinking you have to limit yourself to top private equity firms. There are thousands of PE firms all over the world, and at the top, you’re subjecting yourself to a single style of private equity, namely, mega-investing. That means investing mostly in public companies and having close to nothing to do with the operations of those companies.

Under the top private equity firms listed here, you have many smaller firms that benefit from proprietary access to deals due to less focus at the smaller end of town. These firms are often called mid-market firms, because they deal in mid-market sized investments. These can still be top PE companies in their own right, just in a different space, which may pay less, but is also considered much more rewarding due to great hands-on interaction with portfolio businesses.

26UpLone Star Funds Dallas$10,410.00
27UpThomas H. Lee Partners Boston$10,100.00
28UpCinven London$10,033.80
29StableRiverstone Holdings New York$9,674.00
30UpJC Flowers & Co. New York$9,300.00
31StableAXA Private Equity Paris$9,027.22
32UpAlpInvest Partners Amsterdam$8,867.98
33Up3i Group London$8,732.76
34UpNordic Capital Stockholm$8,732.76
35DownFortress Investment Group New York$8,680.00
36UpEnCap Investments Houston$8,472.80
37UpOnex Partners Toronto$8,338.14
38UpLindsay Goldberg New York$7,870.95
39DownCiti Capital Advisors New York$7,797.00
40UpAres Management Los Angeles$7,786.44
41UpSummit Partners Boston$7,749.94
42DownBridgepoint London$7,717.69
43UpMarfin Athens$7,310.17
44UpEQT Partners Stockholm$7,200.21
45DownNGP Energy Capital Management Dallas$7,107.00
46UpEnergy Capital Partners Short Hills (New Jersey)$6,585.00
47UpStone Point Capital Greenwich (Connecticut)$6,398.00
48UpAbraaj Capital Dubai$6,203.90
49NewGolden Gate Capital San Francisco$6,114.00
50UpGTCR Golder Rauner Chicago$6,000.00

This list comes from the PE media list. I’ve only shown the top 50 private equity firms here because you can see the rest at PEM. It will be interesting to see if fundraising rises any time soon and if the PE style of investment carries on far into the future.

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