• 6/4/2021
    The world's largest private equity firms

    The world's largest private equity firms

    Private equity firms manage investment capital obtained from institutional investors or high net worth individuals (HNWI) to acquire equity ownership of companies through a variety of strategies, including leveraged buyouts and venture capital. Private equity firms operate with long-term investment horizons, typically five to seven years.

    After obtaining an equity interest in a company, the private equity firm looks to eventually profit through either selling the company outright or through an initial public offering (IPO). When especially large investments are required, these firms often partner with other private equity firms to raise the necessary capital and to reduce their risk. Most firms specialize in one or more industries or investment strategies where they have particular expertise.

    A report by Private Equity International (PEI) ranked the top 300 firms based on total private equity fundraising over the five-year period ending on April 1, 2020.1 These are the top 10 private equity firms, according to that report. Readers should note that private equity AUM may be a subset of a company's total assets under management. We report private equity AUM in the list below where available.


    • Private equity is an alternative form of private financing, occurring away from public markets, in which funds and investors directly invest in companies or engage in buyouts of such companies.
    • Private equity investments are typically available only to high net worth individuals.
    • Private equity can take on various forms, from complex leveraged buyouts to venture capital.
    • Private equity firms are typically ranked by their assets under management and success in returning gains to investors.

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