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2016: The Year of Private Equity Fundraising

The world of private equity seems to be a booming business if last year’s performance is anything to go by. According to a report from Value Walk, private equity funds reached record level highs last year gaining a total of $345 billion from 807 closed funds. In fact, half of all funds exceeded their initial target amounts with the average fund size amount coming in at a whopping $476 million.

In the post-Global Financial Crisis era, numbers such as these are welcome news. The private equity industry seems to be more healthy than ever, with 2016 marking the fourth consecutive year that annual fundraising totals have exceeded $300 billion. Preqin, a data and intelligence gathering firm dealing exclusively in the alternative assets industry, believes that this year’s total of $345 billion could rise another 10%. If this is true, then last year’s total will far exceed 2014’s post-Crisis record of $348 billion. These numbers, impressive as they are, still pale in comparison to the 2007-08 record near $400 billion in funding.

As previously mentioned, the last few years have been extremely successful for private equity fundraising. Last year also marks the fourth consecutive annual decline in the proportion of funds not meeting their target, with only 25% last year compared to 40% in 2012. And, in another example of progress, 2016 proved to be a banner year in terms of funds exceeding their target amount, going from 33% in 2012 to a whopping 50% last year.

Christopher Elvin, Head of Private Equity Products at Peqin, gave some insight on the private equity industry’s success.

“2016 has been another banner year for the private equity industry, and fundraising has continued the period of robust capital levels recorded in recent years. The record levels of capital distributed to private equity investors in recent years has prompted growing demand for access to vehicles in market. This has allowed fund managers to raise ever larger sums, often exceeding the levels of capital they were initially seeking, and the average size of private equity funds closed in 2016 has exceeded even that seen during the boom days of 2007-2008,” he said.

Even though some believe that this year will see a drop in private equity funding, Preqin’s research suggests otherwise. Hopefully 2017 will continue the industry’s recent success and prove to be another landmark year.


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