These Investors Are Dominating Private Equity

Preqin ranks the allocators pouring the most money into the asset class – and the managers who are raking it in.


For the biggest investors in private equity, look to the Great White North.

A Preqin ranking of the 100 largest allocators to the asset class released on Wednesday placed three Canadian pension funds in the top ten. The biggest of these, the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, topped the list with a current allocation of $44.4 billion – nearly 16 percent of its total portfolio.

The Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan and Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, with investments of $21 billion and $20 billion, respectively, placed sixth and seventh for total capital committed, according to the data tracker?s ranking.

Outside of Canada, the largest private equity investors included Abu Dhabi’s $792 billion sovereign wealth fund – which allocated $39.6 billion to the asset class, according to Preqin estimates - and Singapore’s GIC, with $31.5 billion in private equity.

In total, 43 percent of the largest investors were public pensions. By location, North America dominated private equity investments, with Canadian and U.S. allocators making up 67 of Preqin’s top 100 investors. These limited partners, including the $305 billion California Public Employees’ Retirement System and Yale University’s $25 billion endowment, currently invest a total of $523 billion in the asset class.

The continent is also home to 64 of the 100 largest private equity managers, with eight of the top ten hailing from the U.S. The largest, Carlyle, raised $66.7 billion over the past ten years. Close behind in second and third place were Blackstone Group and KKR, with ten-year fundraising of $62.2 billion and $57.9 billion, respectively.

Of the top 100, Blackstone ranked the highest in dry powder levels, with $31.9 billion ready to deploy.

Buyout funds were by far the preferred vehicle of the largest investors, with 98 percent citing these as a favorite. Growth funds and venture capital were also popular, chosen by 87 percent and 82 percent of allocators, respectively.

As for geographic preference, the top ten limited partners most liked private equity funds targeting Europe, North America, Asia, and emerging markets, as well as global funds.

On average, the biggest investors allocated 12.1 percent of their portfolios to private equity. The largest commitment as a portion of the total portfolio came from Bregal Investments, a London-based single-family office investing the entirety of its $3.1 billion in private equity.