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Top 7 Private Equity Firms 2017 Ranking Largest Private Equity Firms

Many newcomers to the financial world may be intimidated by seemingly complicated financial terms. Some newbies may be unable to differentiate between varied investment strategies and funds. You may wonder, What is private equity? and What is a private equity firm?

This article offers a window into the complex financial landscape of investments and funds. Here, weve put together a brief look into private equity firms and the investments they commonly make.

Hopefully, weve provided a useful educational breakdown of private equity for those who are looking for clarification and understanding.

AdvisoryHQs List of the Top 7 Best Private Equity Companies

List is sorted alphabetically (click any of the names below to go directly to the detailed review section for that firm):

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Largest Private Equity Firms in the World (Total Assets Under Management)

Private equityis a grouping of assets comprising equity securities and debt in private companies, which means that the companies are not traded on a public stock exchange. Private equity funds may also come from high-net-worth individuals.

A private equity firm is an investment firm that invests in private equity, although private equity investors are not limited to such firms. Private equity investments often involve investing in an ailing company by offering an influx of funds as leverage. The investor will also often make operational changes or take other actions to make the company more profitable.

Middle market private equity firms are a tier of private equity firms. Such companies have revenues that range from around $50 million to $ 1 billion. The term middle market references the fact that such firms sit between smaller investment companies and the largest billion dollar firms that have the largest private equity funds.

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Features to Consider When Researching Private Equity Firms

While researching private equity firms, there are a number of factors that may be applicable during the search. Of course, everyones search will be different depending on varied needs, limitations, and goals.

Many people may simply be interested in learning about the largest private equity firms for the educational value and to enhance their understanding of the economy or financial sector. This list includes some of the necessary information needed to understand how private equity firms operate and the important features of the firms.

Consulting a financial advisor or expert is also recommended as it may provide necessary information to enhance the decision-making process and perspectives.

Some of the biggest private equity firms have over one hundred billion dollars of assets under management. The term assets under management (AUM) refers to the measure of the total value of all of the financial assets under a particular institution.

The term is occasionally referred to as funds under management. Although not a comprehensive compilation, this article has included some of the largest private equity firms internationally.

Many of the largest private equity firms have an international presence and have offices not only here in the U.S. but also in many of the international finance hubs.

Many firms have particular areas of interest with which they typically invest. That information is generally readily available on a firms website. A few of the industries included at private equity firms include aerospace/defense, automotive aftermarket, distribution, energy services, infrastructure products/services, transportation & logistics, and many more.

Some private equity firms are committed to giving back to the community. Some companies encourage employees to volunteer with charitable organizations, and others have established mentorship programs and are otherwise actively engaged with the community.

If this is an important factor for you, review the firms citizenship or foundation page on their website or research the firms charitable involvement.

A firms success rate and ability to create a profitable return is also a likely factor of interest. Review the firms portfolio or consult an expert to learn about a companys ability to make successful investments.

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What methodology does AdvisoryHQ use in selecting and finalizing the firms, services, and products that are ranked on its various top rated lists?

Please click here AdvisoryHQs RankingMethodologies for a detailed review of AdvisoryHQs selection methodologies for ranking top rated firms, products, and services.

Detailed Review Top Ranking Private Equity Firms

Below, please find the detailed review of each firm on our list of best private equity firms. We have highlighted some of thefactors that allowed these private equity firms to score so high in our selection ranking.

Apollo Global Managementis an alternative investment management company founded in 1990. Some of the firmsinvestmentsinclude private equity, credit, and real estate investments.

KeyFactors That Enabled This Firm to Rank as a Top Private Equity Firm

Below are primary reasons we selected Apollo Global Management to be rated as one of the top private equity firms.

On its website, Apollo refers to itself as one of the worlds largest alternative investment managers. In March 2016, the firms assets under management totaled around$173 billion. The firm staffs over900employees and has offices in15countries globally.

Of that $173 billion assets under management, about$38 billionis attributable to the private equity business activities of the firm (as of March 2016).

Apollo typically makes investments withinnine coreindustries. Over time, Apollo has established expertise and an important network within these industries. Those sectors include:

Apollo applies several strategies in making private equity investments. Those strategies include the following:

Opportunistic buyouts have made up the majority of Apollos past investments. Check out more about Apollos opportunistic buyoutshere.

Throughout Apollos business history, about 40% of private equity investments consist of distressed buyouts and debt investments. These are made in alignment with Apollos traditional buyout strategies and are generally aimed at businesses with high potential but low balance sheets. Check out more about Apollos distressed buyouts and debt investmentshere.

As described on its website, Apollos investment strategies also include corporate partner buyouts and new company creation.

Apolloencouragesrecruitment, hiring, engagement, and retention of veterans inside of Apollo itself and connected investment companies.

Apollos hiring practices have earned it a Military Friendly employer title from GI Jobs.

Ardianis an investment company with$55 billionin assets under management and12total offices, two of which are in the United States. The firm explains on its website that it believes a long-term investment approach leads the way to success.

KeyFactors That Enabled This Firm to Rank as a Top Private Equity Firm

Below are primary reasons we selected Ardian to be rated as one of the top private equity firms.

Founded in 1996, the firmspresidentis currently Dominque Senequier. The firm is composed of410employees in 12 offices globally.

Since 1996, the firm has worked with over 250 companies, and its website explains that its current portfolio consists of130businesses.

To view the businesses with which Ardian has an investment relationship, check out itsportfolio listonline. Companies are easily sorted by industry, year of involvement, country, and more.

Ardian has also posted standout success stories with companies that include:

Ardian supports social engagement and charitable works through its activities with theArdian Foundation.

The Foundation supports initiatives that encourage bright and promising students to reach their potential regardless of social and economic disadvantages. The Foundation works with disadvantaged students through bursaries, grants, financial help, and mentoring from Ardian employees.

Over five years, the foundations budget has reached2.5 millioneuros that have assisted84students of modest backgrounds to reach their full potential. Beneficiariesincludestudents of all ages in France, Italy, the US, and China.

Ardian mainly works with private equity investments and asset management in regard to institutional investors. Ardian clients have access to a varied range of funds through:

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Bain Capital is an international investment and financial firm that is active in private equity, ventures, credit, and public equity.

The firm was founded in Boston in 1984 and has since grown into a major global private equity firm.Bain Private Equityhasnineinternational offices and has raised private equity funds inseveralcountries.

KeyFactors That Enabled This Firm to Rank as a Top Private Equity Firm

Below are primary reasons we selected Bain Capital to be rated as one of the top private equity firms.

Bain Capitals employees have donated time and or money tohundredsof worthy charitable causes.

Bain Capital established Bain Capital Childrens Charity in 1997. The charity makes monetary donations to more than 100 charitable organizations benefitting children.

Bains website explains that beneficiaries receive financial donations and the attention of at least one Bain Capital professional. Some beneficiary organizations include:

Bain Capital Private Equitys investment portfolio encompasses a large selection of sectors and industries. However, over time, the firm has commonly worked with a few particular industries and, therefore, developed a familiarity and expertise working within them. Suchindustriesinclude:

The firm has handled and finished over 280 investments since its founding in 1984. The investment portfolio is availableonlineand is sortable by industry and region.

Bain explains on its website that the firm has athree-tiered focusin its investment strategy.

First, the firm focuses on building great companies over several years. Secondly, Bain forges a strong partnership with the management of companies with which they have invested.And third, Bain provides management with the appropriate resources to promote success.

Blackstone Groupsprivate equity arm has$95 billionof assets under management and$39 billionavailable to invest. Its private equity portfolio of over92companies encompasses over$81 billionin annual revenue and employs over570,000team members globally. Blackstone Group itself staffs over250private equity professionals in the US, Europe, and Asia. These stats were posted on Blackstones website as of March 31, 2016.

KeyFactors That Enabled This Firm to Rank as a Top Private Equity Firm

Below are primary reasons we selected Blackstone Group to be rated as one of the top private equity firms.

Blackstone Group founded itsCharitable Foundationin 2007 and is committed to supporting entrepreneurial growth within the communities that Blackstone offices are located.

Some of the organizations that have received grants include:

The firm also supports theBlackstone Launchpadprogram, which is a company-based program that connects with 500k students internationally. The program mentors students, staff, and alumni in the art of entrepreneurship.

The company makes several types of investments in companies across the globe. Categories of investments typically made include:

Visit Blackstone Groups website to view its investment portfolio.Each investment listed on the website has an accompanying breakdown of statistics and other relevant investment information.

Kohlberg Kravis Robertsis a global investment firm investing in several asset classes, including private equity, energy, infrastructure, real estate, credit strategies, and hedge funds. The firm was founded in 1976 by Henry Kravis and George Roberts. The firm has$126 billionin assets under management as of March 31, 2016.

KeyFactors That Enabled This Firm to Rank as a Top Private Equity Firm

Below are primary reasons we selected Kohlberg Kravis Roberts to be rated as one of the top private equity firms.

Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (KKR) leverages funds in investments that it believes have the potential for significant improvement.

Private Equity core investments in the Americasinclude: consumer products, chemicals, metal and mining, energy and natural resources, financial services, health care, industrials, media and communications, retail, and technology.

Private Equity core investments in Europeinclude: consumer and retail, energy, financial services, health care, industrial and chemicals, media and digital, and telecom and technology.

Private Equity core investments in Asiainclude: Consumer products, energy and resources, financial services, health care, industrials, logistics, media and telecom, retail, real estate, and technology.

KKR has posted its sortable investmentportfolioon its website for those who are interested in viewing it.

On its website, KKR describes its private equity investment approach with a few keyelements and values, which include:

KKR supports several programs that encourage giving back to the community. For example, the firm launched its40 for 40volunteer program on the 40thanniversary of its founding. The programprovides employees with 40 hours of paid time to volunteer with worthy community causes.

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The Carlyle Groupis an international alternative asset manager that has$178 billionassets under management, which includes$61 billionunder the firms private equity division. The group was founded in 1987 in Washington, D.C. and now has36offices in North America, South America, Europe, the Middle East, Asia, and Australia. These numbers were available on Carlyles website as of June 13, 2016.

KeyFactors That Enabled This Firm to Rank as a Top Private Equity Firm

Below are primary reasons we selected The Carlyle Group to be rated as one of the top private equity firms.

Carlyle operates across four divisions, including corporate private equity, real assets, global market strategies, and investment solutions. The company staffs more than1,650professionals across all of its corporate segments.

Currently, more than1,700investors from 79 countries work with Carlyle. Investors come from a wide range of backgrounds, including individuals, unions, and corporations.

The Carlyle Group has been awarded several distinctions from various bodies. Some of its industryawardsinclude:

2015 VC Circle: Special Jury Award for Consumer Company of the Year (Tirmala Milk Products)

2015 Buyouts Magazine Award: European Deal of the Year (Sermeta)

2015 Private Equity Africa: Best Fundraiser in Africa, Best Mid-Cap Deal for J+J, Best PE Firm in Africa

2015 Private Equity International: 1 Firm in PEI 300 list of Private Equity Firms in the US

2015 Forbes China Best PE Firms: One of Chinas Best 30 PE Firms

2015 Private Equity Exchange & Awards: Silver for Best Global Private Equity Fund and Best European Mid-Market LBO Fund

2015 Finance Asia Achievement Awards: Best Private Equity Deal (Carlyles partial divestment of m)

Above is a list of distinctions awarded in 2015. Check out Carlyleswebsiteto view awards listed in previous years.

Carlyle has posted itsprivate equity investmentportfolioon its website. Go there to learn more about the firms investments.

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TPG Capitalis a global investment firm that engages with private equity, credit, real estate, hedge funds, and affiliates.

Its private equity division has several arms, including TPG Capital, TPG Capital Asia, TPG Growth, TPG ART, TPG Biotech, and Pace Holdings. Offices are located in the Americas, Asia, Europe, and Australia.

KeyFactors That Enabled This Firm to Rank as a Top Private Equity Firm

Below are primary reasons we selected TPG Capital to be rated as one of the top private equity firms.

TPGs Environmental, Social, and Governanceteamworks closely with companies with which it invests to establish environmentally-friendly operating initiatives.

TPG also forges a long-term relationship with those companies upon completion of the investment relationship and promotes environmentally sustainable practices.

TPG considerscommunity involvementan important part of its interaction with the communities where offices are located. Firm employees volunteer in their communities in firm-sponsored events as well as with their own individual activities. In fact, TPG employees participate as board members on more than 50 nonprofit boards across the world.

Some charitableorganizationswith ties to TPG or its employees include:

TPG posts its investment portfolioonline. The portfolio is sortable by industry, platform or region. Check out its website to learn more about its investments and strategies.

Conclusion 7 Best Private Equity Firms

There is a lot to consider when researching private equity firms. Whether simply for educational value or for a practical financial purpose, understanding private equity firms and their investments is no simple matter.

This list has provided a brief breakdown of some of the largest private equity firms globally. Hopefully this article has offered some insight into what a private equity firm is and how they invest in particular asset classes.

Be sure to check out the websites and do your own research as well. Most of these firms have posted their portfolios online, and it can take days to fully read and understand everything. Check out the portfolios yourself to learn more about specific investments and their results.

Reasonable efforts have been made by AdvisoryHQ to present accurate information, however all info is presented without warranty. Review AdvisoryHQsTermsfor details. Also review each firms site for the most updated data, rates and info.

Note: Firms and products, including the one(s) reviewed above, may be AdvisoryHQs affiliates. Click to view AdvisoryHQsadvertiser disclosures.