The global private equity industry has had the strongest start to a year in fundraising since the global financial crisis of 2008.
A total of 174 private equity funds reached a final close during the first quarter, raising an aggregate US$95 billion. It is the largest amount raised since US$173 billion was collected by the 308 private equity funds during the first quarter of 2008, according to a new report released by research firm Preqin.
"Yet with dry powder now topping US$1.1 trillion, the issue the industry still faces is how all of this capital will be deployed effectively," says Ignatius Fogarty, head of private equity products at Preqin.
The 174 private equity funds that closed is the lowest number of funds to close during any quarter since the crisis, highlighting how competitive the fundraising market still remains.
This is likely to be the lowest number of funds to close since the third quarter of 2010, when 192 funds raised US$82 billion.
By region, private equity funds targeting North American raised US$54 billion, followed by Europe-focused funds’ raising a total of US$28 billion.
Asia-focused funds collected US$10 billion. Another US$3 billion was raised for funds focused on other regions.
Eleven funds focused on growth capital raised a combined US$9.6 billion, up significantly compared with 32 funds raising a total of US$6.5 billion during the fourth quarter of last year.