The Buyouts 100: Our list of the largest private equity fundraisers in North America

In case you were wondering how the North American private equity industry is doing, our inaugural Buyouts 100 list, which tracks the industry’s biggest fundraisers (for the past five years), is the perfect proxy.

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.”

Our list was compiled by our industrious research crew in London and New York, with Daniel Humphrey Rodriguez and Bobby Drysdale doing the heavy lifting. Adding color to the list, Chris Witkowsky, Karishma Vanjani and Kirk Falconer interpret the results and show how these firms have evolved and will continue to do so.

The latest evolution has been sector specialization, particularly the recent frenzy in the technology and growth sectors (software specialists Thoma Bravo and Vista Equity being prime examples of the former). One of our sources sums it up nicely: “You didn’t see that 20 years ago. You saw kind of plain vanilla PE and now you see variations, you see evergreen funds, you’re seeing opportunity funds being formed. It just seems like there’s more and more product formation throughout the industry.”



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