In 2011, 905 funds raised a total of $311 billion. While the total amount of capital raised in 2012 increased, the number of funds successfully closing declined by more than 24% to 687. That supports the widespread contention that private equity fundraising is becoming more and more divided between the haves and the have-nots.
Blackstone Real Estate Partners VII easily led the pack last year, raising $13.3 billion in a fourth-quarter close. In that quarter, real estate was the most popular focus, with 29 funds raising a total of $22.6 billion. Almost all this money is being targeted at North American property. For the year, 141 funds raised more than $54 billion for real estate acquisitions.
Buyout funds remained the biggest category, with 104 funds raising $86.6 billion. The single biggest buyout fund was Advent Global Private Equity VII, which raised €8.5 billion ($11.2 billion) in a fourth-quarter close.
According to Preqin, almost 2,000 firms are now on the road raising funds with combined targets of $797.1 billion. Preqin figures the time spent marketing a fund last year averaged 17 months, slightly more time than it took in 2011, but less than the 19.1 months needed to fundraise in 2010.
"With a record number of funds on the road and with the time taken to raise funds increasing slightly, the market will remain very competitive during 2013," Preqin senior manager Helen Kenyon said in a statement.
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Dodd-Frank, the conventional wisdom goes, will prevent a repeat of the events of the 2008 just at the Securities Act of 1933 and the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 made U.S. securities markets safe for individual investors. Paul Mahoney offers another view of the similarity between Dodd-Frank and the New Deal legislation in his new book Wasting a Crisis: Why Securities Regulation Fails. More video