Canada Pension Leads Top 50 PE Investor List

Sep 4 2013 | 10:13am ET

The Canada Pension Plan Investment Board is the world's biggest private equity investor, with $3.99 billion committed, according to new research from PEI.

The data provider has published a list of the 50 most active private equity investors who, as of March 2013, had together committed $75.2 billion to p.e. funds. The 10 most significant investors were responsible for over a third of that total or $29.21 billion.

North American institutions continue to dominate the industry with eight of the 10 largest investors based there.



Total committed to private equity funds      (1 March 2012 – 28 February 2013)

Region (of headquarters)

Canada Pension Plan Investment Board

$3.99 bn

North America

APG Asset Management



California Public Employees’ Retirement System


North America

Washington State Investment Board


North America

Pennsylvania Public School Employees’ Retirement System


North America

Teachers Retirement System of Texas


North America

Hamilton Lane


North America

New York City Employee Retirement System


North America

Florida State Board of Administration


North America

Safe Investment Company




“In the current fundraising environment, there's a clear split in fortunes between a small number of funds who are comfortably outstripping their targets, and others who continue to languish miserably short of theirs,” said James Taylor, editor of Private Equity International. "These numbers go some way to explaining that pattern. As we demonstrate, there are a small number of institutional investors allocating very large sums. Funds that can get those big investors on board will do very well, very quickly. Those that miss out will likely struggle.

“The research also shows that a well-positioned private equity general partner can still raise vast quantities of capital from a small number of institutions,” said Taylor.

Of the almost $4 billion allocated to primary private equity funds by CPPIB, for example, $654 million was committed to Behrman Capital’s $1 billion fund. A further $650 million was committed to CVC Capital Partners’ €10.5 billion European fund. CPPIB’s recent commitments to funds in Asia include $295 million to FountainVest’s second ‘China Growth Fund’ and $300 million to MBK Partners’ third Korea-, China- and Japan-focused vehicle.

Like many institutions, CPPIB has increasingly sought to invest directly into private equity deals, but primary fund commitments clearly remain a focus. With investment teams in North America, Europe and Asia, the institution maintains relationships with more than 80 GPs and ensures a minimum commitment size of $75 million.

PEI’s research also identified the largest private equity funds of funds by volume of commitments. Hamilton Lane was the most active sponsor, with total commitments of $2.3 billion in the 12 months to March this year. Adams Street Partners and Neuberger Berman also committed in excess of $1 billion.



Total committed private equity funds          (1 March 2012 – 28 February 2013)

Region (of headquarters)

Hamilton Lane


North America

Adams Street Partners


North America

Neuberger Berman


North America




Abbott Capital Management


North America

SL Capital Partners



Commonfund Capital


North America

Portfolio Advisers


North America

Danske Private Equity



Access Capital Partners



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