We're taking an extended look at the US firms that have raised 11-figure buyout funds in the years since the financial crisis. Check out Part I to meet the members of the $10 billion fund club and Part III to see who might be next.
Big funds are back in a big way. That's perhaps the most notable trend that emerges from an examination of the 11 private equity firms that have raised at least $10 billion for new funds since the start of 2009.
Five different firms closed $10 billion vehicles during 2017, the most of any year in the past decade and equal to the number of funds raised in 2014, 2015 and 2016 combined. Among those efforts from last year was Apollo Global Management's $24.7 billion Fund IX, the largest buyout fund in history, per the PitchBook Platform. Silver Lake, meanwhile, became just the third US firm to raise as much as $15 billion since the start of 2009.
Plenty of other facts and figures emerged from the $10 billion fund club—some more serious than others. Here are some highlights:
• Vista Equity Partners made the largest jump in size to hit the $10 billion mark, in terms of percentage increase, going from a $5.8 billion fifth fund to an $11 billion effort for its sixth vehicle.
• Silver Lake ranks second on the list of largest step-up in size for a $10 billion vehicle, going from $10.5 billion for its Fund IV to $15 billion for its Fund V. It's perhaps not a coincidence that Vista and Silver Lake are also the only two firms in the club that focus exclusively on tech investments.
• Five of the 11 firms in the club are headquartered in New York. Four more are from the Bay Area. And then there's Advent International, which is based in Boston, and The Carlyle Group, our lone representative from Washington, DC.
• All of the Big Four publicly traded private equity firms—Apollo, Blackstone, Carlyle and KKR—have a place in the club.
• While all the funds on our list are based in the US, the KKR Americas Fund XII is the only one with a geographic focus in its name.
• Spring is the season that brings forth the bounty of nature after the harshness of winter. For private equity firms, it’s the season they refill their coffers: Eight of the 16 funds that raised at least $10 billion between 2009 and 2017 closed in either March, April or May.
• If spring doesn't work, there's always November: Four more of those 16 vehicles were closed in the year's penultimate month.
• Firms were most likely to hit the $10 billion mark with either the sixth, seventh or eighth vehicles in their respective series. Three $10 billion buyout funds were Fund VIs, three were Fund VIIs and three were Fund VIIIs.
• Silver Lake, meanwhile, was the only firm to hit $10 billion with either a Fund IV or a Fund V—and it accomplished both.
• Warburg Pincus owns the quickest turnaround between two $10 billion efforts, closing its Fund XI on $11.2 billion in 2013 and a follow-up on $13.4 billion in 2015.