The formulas, tricks and trade secrets of Private Equity
Top 50 Private Equity Firms
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.
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.
Lone Star Funds Dallas
Thomas H. Lee Partners Boston
Riverstone Holdings New York
JC Flowers & Co. New York
AXA Private Equity Paris
AlpInvest Partners Amsterdam
3i Group London
Nordic Capital Stockholm
Fortress Investment Group New York
EnCap Investments Houston
Onex Partners Toronto
Lindsay Goldberg New York
Citi Capital Advisors New York
Ares Management Los Angeles
Summit Partners Boston
EQT Partners Stockholm
NGP Energy Capital Management Dallas
Energy Capital Partners Short Hills (New Jersey)
Stone Point Capital Greenwich (Connecticut)
Abraaj Capital Dubai
Golden Gate Capital San Francisco
GTCR Golder Rauner Chicago
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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