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The Buyouts 100: the largest private equity firms in the US & Canada

Our annual list of the biggest 100 private equity firms in the US and Canada (most recent five years) reveals that, until this year, things have been humming along nicely for PE. The top 10 raised $671 billion, up from $553 billion last year.


Not surprisingly, Blackstone takes the No 1 spot, followed by KKR in the second position (they flip-flopped positions from last year). Those two firms alone raised almost $230 billion. One noticeable leap was made by Advent, at No. 6, up from 21 last year.

But, despite all these big numbers, things are in flux, and 2023 will likely be viewed as a pivotal year. Chris Witkowsky delves into the fundraising undercurrents and tries to suss out what changes are temporary and what are indicative of fundamental, permanent evolution. And Chris notes that some of his sources, in a nod to TS Eliot, describe mid-market fundraising as a “wasteland.”

The recent market sobriety is playing into LPs’ hands, however, as they cut down their allotments and scrutinize valuations much more closely. Jim Pittman, executive vice-president and global head of private equity at British Columbia Investment Management, says, “You can’t continue to give money to GPs just because they come banging on your door.” And a public pension LP sums it up: “We are able to get better terms with the GPs, as they are able to provide more concessions. LPs are able to push back more.”



The 2023 Buyouts 100 ranking is based on the amount of private equity direct investment capital raised by firms for funds closed between January 1, 2018, and March 31, 2023, as well as capital raised for funds in market at the end of the counting period.

For a full methodology, email senior research manager, fundraising, Tom Zimmermann (

Private equity
For the Buyouts 100, the definition of private equity is capital raised for a dedicated program of investing directly into businesses. This includes equity capital for diversified PE, buyouts, growth equity, VC and turnaround or control-oriented distressed investment capital.

Capital raised
Capital definitively committed to a private equity direct investment program. In the case of a fundraising, the fund has had a final or official interim close after January 1, 2018. We count the full amount of a fund if it has a close after this date and count the full amount of an interim close that has occurred recently, even if no official announcement has been made. We also count capital raised through co-investment vehicles.

Funds of funds, secondaries, real estate, infrastructure, hedge funds, debt, mezzanine and PIPEs. The Buyouts 100 is not a performance ranking, nor does it constitute investment recommendations.


Is the private equity fundraising bacchanalia finally coming to an end? The numbers in our roundup of the 100 biggest North American fundraisers indicate that the party was starting to wind down in 2022.

As we chatted with LPs and GPs, the picture is getting murky, if not gloomy, for fundraising. Front and center: GPs are continuing to come to market with new funds, but LPs are out of capital from the slowing exit markets, and many are overexposed to the asset class, needing to make tough decisions on portfolio rebalancing.

Our inaugural Buyouts 100 list tracking the industry’s biggest fundraisers (for the past five years).

The numbers are staggering. The 100 raised a total of $1.38 trillion, with the top 50 firms raising a walloping $1.1 trillion (the top 10 alone raised $499 billion – that’s half a trillion dollars if you can’t find your abacus). The number 1 firm, Blackstone, raised almost a tenth of the list’s grand total. As one of the quoted sources in our coverage says, “If you look at the industry as a whole and where it was 10 years ago to where it stands today, it’s a tremendous growth story.”


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