Mega-funds—those with a fund size of at least $5 billion—currently make up a significant and outsized proportion of the overall capital raised in private equity (45.3% of capital raised in North America and 42.2% of capital raised in Europe between 2016 and 2018 came from mega-funds). Despite being managed by only a handful of active firms in the space, these large vehicles have become the most influential group of funds in the industry. As one of the biggest names in private equity, it may not be a surprise that Blackstone has raised the most mega-fund capital to date. But what other firms are involved in shaping the private equity mega-fund environment?

Read on to see the top PE managers according to aggregate mega-fund capital raised.

The all-time top managers of the mega-fund ecosystem 

PE mega-funds (#) and capital raised ($B) by GP

The three firms with the most mega-fund capital raised and highest number of mega-funds closed currently stand in a league of their own, separated by some distance from the next closest competitors. This achievement is particularly salient given the thousands of active GPs and trillions of dollars in AUM controlled by PE fund managers. 

1. The Blackstone Group (Blackstone)

Location: New York, NY
Total investments: 1,326
Exits: 592
Mega-fund capital raised: $89.6B
Mega-funds closed: 8

The Blackstone Group is the largest private markets manager and number one on our list of firms with the most aggregate mega-fund capital. The firm was founded in 1985 and controls over half a trillion dollars in AUM. Utilizing over a dozen investment strategies, Blackstone manages investment vehicles in private equity, real estate, public debt and equity, non-investment grade credit, real assets, secondary funds and more. The firm is continuing to heavily invest in mega-funds with five such upcoming vehicles in real estate, infrastructure, buyout, secondaries and GP stakes. 

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2. Goldman Sachs (GS)

Location: New York, NY
Total investments: 1,080
Mega-fund capital raised: $84.3B
Mega-funds closed: 8

The Goldman Sachs Group is a global investment banking, securities, and investment management firm, providing services to corporations, financial institutions, governments, and high-net-worth individuals worldwide. The firm operates in three segments: investment banking, trading, and principal investments, and asset management and securities services. The investment banking segment provides financial advisory services with respect to mergers and acquisitions, divestitures, corporate defense activities, restructurings, spin-offs, and underwriting services such as public offerings and private placements of common and preferred stock, convertible and exchangeable securities, investment-grade debt, high-yield debt, sovereign, emerging market debt, municipal debt, bank loans, asset-backed securities, and real estate-related securities.

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3. Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (KKR)

Location: New York, NY
Total investments: 1,419
Exits: 504
Mega-fund capital raised: $78.9B
Mega-funds closed: 9

Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (KKR) is a global investment firm. The core of the firm's franchise is sponsoring and managing funds that make private equity investments in North America, Europe and Asia. Throughout its history, KKR has brought a long-term investment approach to portfolio companies, focusing on working in partnership with management teams and investing for future competitiveness and growth. The firm manages investments across multiple asset classes including private equity, energy, infrastructure, real estate, capital markets, credit strategies and hedge funds. It was established in 1976.

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$50- $70 Million aggregate mega-fund capital raised

Even if it isn’t at the very top of the stack, Apollo helped push the boundaries on mega-fund size with its $24.7 billion-dollar 2017 vintage buyout fund—the largest amount on record for a PE vehicle (though Blackstone may be working towards a new record). Firms in this range are very well-established industry leaders just shy of the peak.

Apollo Global Management

Location: New York, NY
Total investments: 561
Exits: 263
Mega-fund capital raised: $67.9B
Mega-funds closed: 4

Apollo Global Management is a private equity and investment management firm founded in 1990 and headquartered in New York, New York. The firm provides performing and non-performing loans, insurance-linked securities, asset-backed securities, distressed debt, senior bank loans, structured credit and other fixed income products to its clients. Apollo provides its service to different industry groups including, chemicals, consumer products and services, retail, oil and gas, distribution and transportation, financial and business services, media, telecom and technology among others.

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CVC Capital Partners

Location: Luxembourg City, Luxembourg
Total investments: 613
Exits: 399
Mega-fund capital raised: $58.7B
Mega-funds closed: 5

CVC Capital Partners is a private equity investment and investment advisory firm. The firm acquires controlling or significant minority interests in companies located in Europe, Middle East, Asia and North America. It prefers to invest in the technology, financial services, manufacturing, services, distribution, media, retail, industrial and service sectors.

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Warburg Pincus 

Location: New York, NY
Total investments: 1,179
Exits: 570
Mega-fund capital raised: $52.9B
Mega-funds closed: 5

Warburg Pincus is a private equity firm that invests in companies based in the Americas, Europe, Middle East and Asia. The firm seeks to invest in the like energy, financial services, healthcare and consumer, industrial and business services, real estate, technology, media and telecommunication sectors. The firm was founded in 1966 and is based in New York, New York.

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TPG Capital

Location: San Francisco, CA
Total investments: 760
Exits: 414
Mega-fund capital raised: $51.4B
Mega-funds closed: 4

TPG Capital is a global private equity firm that invests seeks to invest in the consumer, retail, media, industrials, financial services, natural resource and energy, technology, real estate, and healthcare sectors. The firm was founded in 1992 and is based in San Francisco, California.

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$30-$50 million aggregate mega-fund capital raised

Long time market leaders including the Carlyle Group, Hellman & Friedman and Bain Capital sit at the top of this section of the mega-fund environment (all of which were founded in the 80s). Meanwhile, Silver Lake has rapidly risen to prominence with its emphasis on tech-focused buyouts, raising one of the largest tech specific vehicles ever at $15 billion.

Carlyle Group

Location: Washington, DC
Total investments: 1,751
Exits: 918
Mega-fund capital raised: $46.9B
Mega-funds closed: 4

The Carlyle Group is a private equity firm and business development company that originates, structures and acts as lead equity and debt investor in leveraged buyouts, management-led buyouts, strategic minority equity investments, equity private placements, consolidations, buildups and growth capital financing. The company focuses on a wide range of sectors which includes aerospace and defense, automotive and transportation, consumer and retail, energy and power, healthcare, industrial, technology and business services, and telecommunications and media. It was founded in 1987 and is based in Washington, District of Columbia with additional offices across North America, South America, Middle East, Europe, Asia and Africa.

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Hellman & Friedman

Location: San Francisco, CA
Total investments: 429
Exits: 90
Mega-fund capital raised: $44.3B
Mega-funds closed: 4

Founded in 1984, Hellman & Friedman is a private equity firm based in San Francisco and having offices in New York and London. The firm seeks to invest in the software, business and information services, internet and media, energy and industrials, financial services, insurance, media and healthcare sectors.

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Bain Capital

Location: Boston, MA
Total investments: 799
Exits: 457
Mega-fund capital raised: $40.6B
Mega-funds closed: 5

Bain Capital is a private equity investment firm that prefers to invest in the retail, business services, consumer and financial services, healthcare, energy, technology, media, telecommunication and industrial sectors. The firm is also involved in real estate investments. It was founded in 1984 and is headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts.

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Apax Partners

Location: London, UK
Total investments: 916
Exits: 410
Mega-fund capital raised: $37.3B
Mega-funds closed: 4

Apax Partners is a leading global private equity advisory firm. Over its nearly 50-year history, Apax Partners has raised and advised funds with aggregate commitments of over $50 billion. The Apax Funds invest in companies across four global sectors of Tech & Telco, Services, Healthcare and Consumer with its digital capability as a horizontal specialisation. These funds provide long-term equity financing to build and strengthen world-class companies.

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Silver Lake Management

Location: Menlo Park, CA
Total investments: 330
Exits: 128
Mega-fund capital raised: $34.9B
Mega-funds closed: 3

Silver Lake Management is a private equity firm that invests in technology enabled industries. The firm operates and invests across four strategies: Silver Lake Partners, Silver Lake Sumeru, Silver Lake Kraftwerk and Silver Lake Waterman. It also invests in middle market and large-cap companies through recapitalization, leveraged buyouts, growth capital and PIPEs. It was founded in 1999 and is based in Menlo Park, California.

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Advent International

Location: Boston, MA
Total investments: 834
Exits: 487
Mega-fund capital raised: $34.1B
Mega-funds closed: 3

Advent International is a private equity firm which seeks to invest in the business and financial services, healthcare, industrial, retail, consumer and leisure, technology, media and telecom sectors. The firm was founded in 1984 and is headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts.

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Permira

Location: London, UK
Total investments: 358
Exits: 220
Mega-fund capital raised: $33.1B
Mega-funds closed: 4

Founded in 1985, Permira is a private equity firm that prefers to make investments with a focus on the consumer, financial services, healthcare, industrials and technology sectors. The firm currently operates as a fully integrated team across five sectors and 14 offices located around the globe.

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EQT

Location: Stockholm, Sweden
Total investments: 722
Exits: 173
Mega-fund capital raised: $32.9B
Mega-funds closed: 4

EQT Partners is a private equity firm that is headquartered in Stockholm, Sweden. The firm invests in companies and regions where there is an industrial approach. The firm has four overall investment strategies: Private Capital (including Ventures, Mid-Market and Equity), Real Assets (including Infrastructure and Real Estate), Credit and Public Value. The firm is guided by a responsible ownership approach and an industrial growth strategy.

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Lone Star Funds

Location: Dallas, TX
Total investments: 190
Exits: 86
Mega-fund capital raised: $30.7B
Mega-funds closed: 5

Lone Star Funds is a private equity firm that specializes in real estate, equity, credit and other financial assets. The firm was founded in 1995 and is based in Dallas, Texas.

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$10-$30 million aggregate mega-fund capital raised

At the lower end of the spectrum, relatively smaller, more specialized firms are raising mega-funds, including those with an emphasis on tech (such as Thoma Bravo and Vista Equity Partners) or niche strategies (including Dyal Capital Partners’ GP stakes funds). We think more niche strategies will be vaulted into mega-fund status as LPs look to commit capital to strategies that have differentiated risk/return profiles and growth drivers.

BC Partners

Location: London, UK
Total investments: 259
Exits: 129
Mega-fund capital raised: $27.7B
Mega-funds closed: 3

BC Partners is a private equity investment firm specializing in the buyout investments in Europe and the United States. It is based in London, United Kingdom and was founded in 1986. The firm prefers to invest in the business, consumer products and services, healthcare and information technology sectors.

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Cinven

Location: London, UK
Total investments: 406
Exits: 208
Mega-fund capital raised: $23.1B
Mega-funds closed: 3

Cinven is a private equity firm that seeks to invest in companies based in Europe and United States and operating in the business services, consumer, financial services, healthcare, industrials, and technology, media and telecommunications sectors. The firm was established in 1977 and is based in London, United Kingdom.

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Clayton, Dubilier & Rice

Location: New York, NY
Total investments: 265
Exits: 115
Mega-fund capital raised: $21.4B
Mega-funds closed: 3

Clayton, Dubilier & Rice is a private equity firm with an investment strategy on producing financial returns through building stronger and more profitable businesses. The firm invests in companies operating in the consumer, retail, healthcare, business service and industrial sectors. It was founded in 1978 and is based in New York, New York.

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Thoma Bravo

Location: Chicago, IL
Total investments: 278
Exits: 68
Mega-fund capital raised: $20.2B
Mega-funds closed: 2

Thoma Bravo is a private equity firm that targets control investments in firms based in the United States. The firm seeks to make investment in firms focused in application software, infrastructure software and technology enabled services sectors. It is headquartered in Chicago, Illinois and was founded in 1998.

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Vista Equity Partners

Location: Austin, TX
Total investments: 337
Exits: 49
Mega-fund capital raised: $16.8B
Mega-funds closed: 2

Founded in 2000, Vista Equity Partners is a private equity firm headquartered in Austin, Texas with additional offices in San Francisco, California; Oakland, California, New York, New York, and Chicago, Illinois. The firm focuses on investing in software, agriculture, construction, education, energy, financial services, Government, healthcare, hospitality, insurance, legal, marketing, media, entertainment, real estate, retail, security, telecom, transportation, and technology-enabled business sectors. The firm prefers to invest in management and leveraged buyouts, minority investments, acquisitions, growth financings, recapitalizations or restructurings, spinouts or divestitures and secondary-private transactions.

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Onex

Location: Toronto, ON
Total investments: 236
Exits: 97
Mega-fund capital raised: $12.9B
Mega-funds closed: 2

Onex is a private equity firm that invests through Onex Partners, ONCAP private equity funds and Onex Credit. The firm prefers to invest in the consumer, retail, financial services, healthcare, industrials, technology, media, telecommunication sectors. The firm was founded in 1984 and is headquartered in Toronto, Ontario.

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Dyal Capital Partners

Location: New York, NY
Total investments: 39
Exits: 2
Mega-fund capital raised: $5.3B*
Mega-funds closed: 1*

Dyal Capital Partners is a firm that is dedicated to acquiring minority equity stakes in established alternative asset managers’ companies diversified by investment strategy and geography. Despite initially targeting $6 billion for its upcoming fund (Dyal Capital Partners IV), they are expected to raise around $7 billion.

The firm was founded in 2010 and operates as a subsidiary of Neuberger Berman Holdings. Tracing its roots back to predecessors founded in the early 1980s, NB Private Equity is recognized as one of the oldest PE investment firms and has managed PE separate accounts and commingled funds for institutions globally. Since its inception, NB Private Equity has been an active PE investor managing investor commitments across primaries, co-investments, private debt, other direct PE strategies and secondaries.

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* Dyal is working towards closing their second mega-fund for purchasing minority stakes in alternative asset managers.

Want to learn more about mega-funds? Read our analyst note.
 

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