Private Equity International - Adam Le - April 3, 2018
There has never been a better time for LPs and GPs to utilise the market.
Blink and you might have missed it. In a year when primary managers raised $272.3 billion for buyouts alone, the secondaries market – once a fledgling cottage industry where $1 billion was considered a mega-fund and the stigma of LPs wanting to exit a GP’s fund reigned – broke record upon record.
A quick look at the numbers tells a compelling story. Fundraising for private equity secondaries funds smashed the 2016 record with $38.2 billion amassed in final closes, according to PEI data. They weren’t unknown names either: Blackstone’s and Goldman Sachs Asset Management’s secondaries units raised last year’s biggest funds, collecting almost $15 billion between them.
Secondaries transaction volume – typically defined as the price a buyer pays for assets or stakes in a deal plus the unfunded commitment they agree to take over – was as high as $58 billion, according to advisor Greenhill Cogent. To put this in perspective, that’s a 57 percent increase on the previous year and an almost 40 percent increase on the previous record high of $42 billion set in 2014.