Top 50 Private Equity Firms: A List
Updated 26 February 2021
Private equity firms operate in the business of alternative investments, raising capital and reinvesting funds to both drive the growth of target companies and generate a profit on behalf of investors.
Capital is raised through multiple avenues, from high-net-worth individuals and retail investors to institutional investors. These might include government organisations, pension funds, financial institutions and university endowments.
This capital is then invested through strategies that include mergers and acquisitions, leveraged buyout transactions, growth capital, and special situations (e.g. investment in distressed companies).
A private equity firm generates its revenue by charging asset management and performance-related fees.
The following list of private equity firms details the current top performers in terms of capital raised. Companies are listed alphabetically.
Top 50 Private Equity Firms
1. Adams Street Partners
A global private markets investment management firm, specialising in managing private equity for institutional investors including endowments, foundations, and public and corporate pension plans.
2. Advent International
A US-based firm operating in 12 countries with a focus on international company buyouts, restructuring and growth across Europe, Asia, Latin and North America.
3. Affinity Equity Partners
A Pan-Asian private equity firm focused on growth capital and leveraged buyout transactions across China, Southeast Asia, Korea, New Zealand and Australia.
4. American Securities
Founded in 1994, this is one of America’s leading private equity firms. It is focused on investments in large, market-leading companies across North America and has offices in New York and Shanghai.
5. Apax Partners
Headquartered in London, Apax is one of the largest international private equity firms. It predominantly raises capital through institutional investments, including university endowments, and public and corporate pension funds.
6. Apollo Global Management
Founded in 1990, this American firm specialises in the purchase of distressed securities and leveraged buyouts and is one of the best performing private equity firms in the US, with offices worldwide.
Previously known as AXA Private Equity, Ardian is an independent private equity firm and one of the largest operating in Europe. It is headquartered in Paris, France.
8. Ares Management
The private equity arm of this multinational alternative asset management firm focuses primarily on investing in middle-market companies through distressed and opportunistic situations and corporate private equity.
9. Bain Capital
A leading multi-asset investment firm with a private equity branch that operates globally across multiple industry sectors, investing at all equity stages.
10. Baring Private Equity Asia
Headquartered in Singapore, this dedicated private equity firm operates across Asia. It focuses on mergers, acquisitions, management buyouts and strategic restructuring.
11. BC Partners
One of Europe’s leading private equity firms, it primarily operates within the field of buyouts. It has offices in London, Hamburg, Milan, Paris and New York.
As the world’s largest alternative investment firm, Blackstone’s private equity arm holds a portfolio of over 97 companies across a range of industries and predominantly invests in leveraged buyouts.
Specialists in middle-market business acquisition across Europe with expertise in multiple sectors including healthcare, financial services, manufacturing, media and technology.
14. Brookfield Asset Management
Headquartered in Toronto, with offices in New York City, Sydney, London and Rio de Janeiro, this private equity firm specialises in residential, business services and industrial sectors.
15. The Carlyle Group
A multinational alternative asset management firm founded in 1987. It specialises in corporate private equity with a focus on leveraged buyout transactions.
International firm specialising in the acquisition of corporations across Europe and the US. It works within the six industry sectors of consumer markets, industrials, business services, financial services, healthcare, and media and telecommunications.
17. Clayton, Dubilier & Rice
One of the world’s oldest private equity firms and a specialist in investments involving corporate divestitures of multi-business corporations.
18. CVC Capital Partners
A British private equity firm, now headquartered in Luxembourg, with offices worldwide. It specialises in managing institutional investments, predominantly in the form of pension plans.
19. EnCap Investments
Based in Houston, Texas, EnCap is a private equity firm focused specifically on providing venture capital to independent oil and gas companies.
Founded in 1994, this Swedish firm invests in private equity across the sectors of healthcare, consumer goods, industrials, media and telecommunications, and technology.
French firm formed in 2001 via a corporate merger and focused on private equity opportunities in the SME marketplace across Europe, America and Asia.
22. General Atlantic
Global private equity firm specialising in the four key investment sectors of healthcare, financial services, technology and consumer markets, with funds raised primarily via philanthropic organisations and entrepreneurs.
23. Genstar Capital
Based in California, this private equity firm is focused on leveraged buyouts of North American middle-market companies in the healthcare, financial services, software and industrial technology sectors.
24. Goldman Sachs Capital Partners
Founded in 1986 as the private equity branch of Goldman Sachs, this firm specialises in leveraged buyout and growth capital transactions on an international scale.
A private equity firm specialising in investments in high growth industries, with a focus on growth capital, leveraged buyouts and recapitalisation, and rollup transactions.
26. HarbourVest Partners
One of the leading private equity firms operating on a global scale, HarbourVest Partners invests in all types of private equity funds and works with institutional investors such as endowments and financial institutions.
27. Hellman & Friedman
An American firm principally focused on growth capital and buyout investments in core industries including information, professional and financial services.
28. Hillhouse Capital Group
With offices in Hong Kong, Singapore, Beijing and New York, Hillhouse invests at all equity stages in companies across the industrial, consumer and healthcare sectors, with a principal focus on the Asian market.
29. Insight Partners
This firm was founded in 1995 and focuses on technology and internet businesses. It employs several investment strategies including mergers and acquisitions, growth capital, and buyouts.
A well established global investment firm headquartered in New York City and with offices in 16 countries. It has a strong history of large leveraged buyout transactions.
31. L Catterton
An American firm primarily involved in buyouts and growth capital investments across consumer markets including retail, fashion, food and beverage, and consumer health.
32. Leonard Green & Partners
Specialists in service industry investments, predominantly business, healthcare and consumer services, through growth equity, buyouts, recapitalisations, and selective public equity and debt positions.
33. Neuberger Berman Group
An employee-owned independent firm headquartered in New York. It manages investment portfolios for high-net-worth individuals and institutional investors on a global scale.
34. New Mountain Capital
US-based alternative investment management firm with a private equity arm focused on acquisition, growth capital, growth strategy and restructuring.
35. NGP Energy Capital Management
Specialists in several investment strategies and focused on companies in the energy sector including alternative energy, oil and gas exploitation and production, energy efficiency, and power technology.
This private equity firm’s investments span a range of industry sectors and are made through the three key strategies of multinational corporate carve-outs, operational restructuring and add-on acquisitions.
One of the largest private equity firms focused solely on Asian territories, it has investment expertise in healthcare, financial services, business services, technology, media and entertainment, and consumer sectors.
38. Pai Partners
European firm headquartered in Paris, France, with a history of successful investment in consumer goods and large food companies. It specialises in managing funds for high-net-worth individuals and institutional investors including pension funds, banks and government organisations.
39. Partners Group
Swiss-based private equity firm founded in 1996 specialising in the management of funds for financial institutions, private banks and other institutional investors.
40. Permira Advisers
Headquartered in London and operating throughout Europe, Permira raises funds from institutional investors and focuses its interests in the five core sectors of healthcare, consumer markets, industrials, financial services and TMT.
41. Quantum Energy Partners
Focused solely on the energy industry, this private equity firm specialises in investments in renewable energy, energy technology and oilfield services across North America, with headquarters in Houston, Texas.
42. Riverstone Holdings
A multinational private equity firm headquartered in New York and specialising in growth capital and leveraged buyout transactions. Its principal focus is on energy and power services, renewable energy, oil and gas exploration, and power technology.
43. Roark Capital Group
Founded in 2001, Roark Capital Group specialises in middle-market leveraged buyout transactions, principally in the consumer healthcare, restaurant and food, and business services sectors.
44. Silver Lake
One of the largest private equity firms operating in the technology sector, Silver Lake specialises in leveraged buyouts and growth capital with interests in the likes of Skype and NASDAQ.
45. Stone Point Capital
Founded in 2001, with its headquarters in Connecticut, Stone Point Capital specialises in private equity investments, specifically in the financial services sector on a global scale.
46. Thoma Bravo
Specialists in the management of funds for institutional investors within the technology sector, Thoma Bravo also credits itself as the pioneer of the ‘buy and build’ strategy. It is focused on acquisitions and growth initiatives.
47. Tiger Global Management
With offices in New York, Bangalore, Singapore, Hong Kong and Melbourne, Tiger focuses its investments within the technology, consumer media and telecom sectors, as well as industrial markets.
A multinational company and one of the largest private equity firms in the world, TPG specialises in leveraged buyout transactions and growth capital across multiple sectors including technology, healthcare, and travel and leisure.
49. Vista Equity Partners
With US-offices in Austin, Oakland, San Francisco, New York and Chicago, Vista focuses its private equity investments on technology and software start up companies, predominantly through growth capital and strategic structuring.
50. Warburg Pincus
Founded in 1966, Warburg Pincus is one of the world’s oldest private equity firms. It operates globally across a range of sectors including financial services, retail, healthcare, energy and industrial manufacturing, with investments made at all equity stages.