Private equity funds raised a total of US$431 billion globally in 2013, up 13% from 2012. It’s the highest amount of fundraising since the global financial crisis, according to data released by private equity research firm Preqin.
The previous record was set in 2008 when US$688 billion was raised by private equity funds globally.
The growth in fundraising in 2013 was led by strong activity in funds focused on North America and Europe. Funds focused on Asia and other regions saw a significant drop in fundraising levels.
North America-focused private equity funds raised US$266 billion in 2013, up 33% year-on-year. Capital raised for funds focused on regions outside of Europe and
North America totaled US$61 billion in 2013, down 29% from US$86 billion in 2012.
Preqin says that 59% of investors believe that Europe offers the best private equity investment opportunities in the current environment, compared with 54% favors the prospects in North America.
About 22% of investors are optimistic towards Asia, and 11% sees great opportunities in other regions.
A record 2,084 private equity funds are in the market raising new funds as of January 2014, seeking to raise an aggregate US$750 billion. That compares with 1,949 funds seeking to raise US$797 billion at the start of 2013.