The Private Equity (PE) industry has developed and improved significantly in the last two decades, especially after the global financial crisis of 2008. During the same period, PE has emerged as the most successful asset class. As per the latest PEI 300 report by Private Equity International, the top 300 PE firms have collectively raised about $2 trillion in the last five years. The contribution of the top 10 funds stood at $461 billion.
Most Valuable Private Equity Firms
Usually, PE firms are evaluated in terms of their AUM (Assets Under Management). Here is the list of most valuable PE firms of 2020.
- Brookfield Asset Management
- Apollo Global Management Inc.
- Neuberger Berman Group LLC
- KKR & Co Inc.
- The Carlyle Group
- CVC Capital Partner
- Bain Capital
- TPG Capital
- Advent International
- Vista Equity Partners
- Warburg Pincus
- EQT AB Group
BlackStone, a leading name in the private market, invests globally in a plethora of asset classes. The total AUM of Blackstone currently stands at $564 billion.
Private equity is the flagship business of this New York based company. The corporate private equity of Blackstone has an AUM of $95 billion with 97 portfolio companies. It invests in both established and growth-oriented businesses and is currently sitting with a $41 billion dry powder. In the last five years, Blackstone has raised $95.83 billion.
Brookfield Asset Management
With a track record of 120 years as owners and operators, Brookfield currently manages assets worth about $550 billion. The firm invests in high-quality businesses in more than 30 countries. Geographically Brookfield is focused in North America, South America, Europe, and the Asia Pacific.
The private equity business of Brookfield has an AUM of $65 billion. This Canadian alternative asset manager's PE operations primarily focus on business services, infrastructure services, and industrials.
Brookfield's investor list includes financial institutions, sovereign funds, private wealth investors, insurance companies, endowments & foundations, and public & private pension funds.
Apollo Global Management Inc.
Established in 1990 and headquartered in New York, Apollo Global Management is a leader in alternative investment. At the end of the second quarter of 2020, Apollo has a total AUM of $414 billion. In the past 10 years, the AUM of the company has grown 7.5x driven primarily by yield-oriented permanent capital vehicles.
Apollo's PE business is engaged in opportunistic buyouts and build-ups, corporate carve-outs, and distressed investments. The PE business of Apollo has an AUM of $73 billion. Its private equity business is benefited from the integration with its credit business.
Neuberger Berman Group LLC
Neuberger Berman has an AUM of $358 billion, and out of this, $69 billion is in private markets. This 100% employee-owned company has more than 30 years of experience in managing private market assets. Neuberger Berman has a presence in 35 cities worldwide with global headquarters in New York. As per the PEI 300 Report, Neuberger Berman has attracted $36.43 billion capital in the last five years, mainly from high net worth investors, sovereign funds, and pension funds.
KKR & Co Inc.
As of June 30, 2020, the total AUM of KKR stood at $222 billion. KKR is a global name in the private investment arena that invests in multiple alternative asset classes. KKR, a specialist in leveraged buyouts (LBOs) and build-ups (LBUs), has a keen interest in growth capital as well.
KKR manages its operations through its 20 offices spread across four continents. This New York based firm's PE business has 103 active portfolio companies, and together they generate a revenue of about $183 billion annually. KKR has raised $54.7 billion from its investors in the last five years.
The Carlyle Group
The Carlyle Group manages a sum of $221 billion in assets. The private equity business of Carlyle invests in companies across the sectors. This Washington, DC based company has offices in 31 locations spread across six continents. With 170 active portfolio companies, the PE business of Carlyle manages assets worth $84 billion.
As each geography has its flair of doing business, Carlyle partners with the local wizards to understand the communities in which it invests and thereby make better investment decisions. Carlyle has expertise in six core sectors, such as:
- Financial services
- Consumer, Media & Retail
- Industrial & Transportation
- Technology & Business Services
- Aerospace, Defence & Govt. Services
To fund its investments, Carlyle has raised $61.73 billion in the last five years.
CVC Capital Partner
A world leader in credit and private equity, CVC has an AUM worth $105.1 billion. Out of this, private equity business manages assets worth more than $79 billion. CVC is the world's largest non-US PE firm.
As of June 30, 2020, CVC has $160 billion of funds commitments, and it handles funds from more than 300 investors, mainly pension plans. CVC's global network comprises 23 offices, spread in the Asia Pacific, Europe, and the Americas, and 267 investment professionals.
The private equity platform of CVC invests in businesses that have significantly high potential to grow. Strategic Opportunities, Growth partners, Europe/America, and Asia are the four investment strategies that CVC's private equity business follows. Between January 2015 and April 2020, CVC has raised funds worth $35.97 billion.
Bain Capital, a multi-asset alternative investment firm, has a total AUM of about $100 billion. Bain Capital was incorporated in 1984 as a PE firm. Over the years, it has spread its business across various asset classes like public equity, venture capital, credit, real estate, etc. Today, Bain Capital has 20 offices scattered across the globe.
Since its commencement, the private equity business of the firm has handled more than 940 investments. Bain Capital Private Equity is focused on key sectors like consumer, financial services, technology, healthcare, and industrial.
TPG has an AUM of about $83 billion. This San Francisco based firm manages its operation through 14 offices spread across North America, Europe, Asia, and Australia. TPG invests in a wide range of companies across the sectors and generates value through LBO and growth investing.
TPG has raised $38.68 billion capital in the last five years, mainly from sovereign funds, insurance companies, endowments, and pension funds.
Advent International has started its private equity strategy in 1989, and since then, it has made 360 investments across 41 countries. As per the latest data, the total AUM of Advent stands at $58.4 billion.
Advent manages its business through 15 offices in 12 countries. Geographically it focuses on Europe, North America, Asia, and Latin America. Advent has a deep focus on health care, financial services, technology, industrial, and retail, consumer & leisure. It generates value through buyouts, growth investing, and strategic restructuring. Between January 2015 and April 2020, Advent has raised a sum of $33.50 billion.
Vista Equity Partners
Vista invests solely in software businesses of all sizes and has a track record of 20 years. Apart from this, Vista has strategic investment partnerships with companies from other sectors.
Currently, Vista manages assets worth $58 billion. Since its incorporation in the year 2000, its private equity business has made more than 455 transactions with an aggregate value of $155 billion. In the last five years, it has managed to attract investments worth $32.09 billion.
Instituted in 1966, Warburg Pincus has 14 offices in 11 countries. With an AUM of over $53 billion, Warburg Pincus is a New York based firm focused only on private equity business. Since its inception, Warburg Pincus has invested in more than 900 companies worldwide. Today, it has an active portfolio of more than 185 companies that are at different growth stages and are from various sectors.
With its primary focus on growth investing, Warburg Pincus is specialized in sectors like financial services, consumer, healthcare, energy, real estate, technology, and industrial & business services. Warburg has raised capital worth $37.57 billion in the last five years.
EQT AB Group
Incorporated in 1994 in Sweden, EQT is one of the leading PE firms in Northern Europe. Its business has grown to 17 countries across Europe, North America, and APAC over the years. Today, the total AUM of this firm stood at EUR 40 billion ($46.77 billion). The business of EQT is segmented into Private Capital, Credit, and Real Asset. Among them, Private Capital, of which private equity is a part, is the front-runner with an AUM worth EUR 22 billion ($25.72 billion).
The PE business of EQT targets mid-large size companies in the US and Europe with extraordinary value creation potential. This business of EQT has an active portfolio of 60 firms. EQT has attracted investments aggregating to $34.42 billion in the last five years.
Today, when the world is facing one of the biggest crises of the century, COVID-19, PE firms are combat-ready to endure this crisis. With the uncertainty looming over the global economy, the world's largest investors turn to private markets with the expectation of finding a reliable source for attractive returns. At present, PE firms across the globe are sitting with a record high dry powder. The cash pile is prompting PE firms to invest in younger firms and early-stage companies. Many PE firms are showing the willingness to take minority stakes more than ever. In short, the current situation is like a sellers' market.