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Consistently strong returns, which enjoyed an abnormally large boost in 2021 and have beaten both the S&P 500 TR Index and MSCI World TR Index over the longer term, are just one factor behind the continued growth of private equity. Preqin forecasts that AUM will exceed $11.12tn by 2026, up from an estimated $5.3tn at the end of 2021. This represents a 15.9% CAGR between 2021 and 2026, which is slightly faster than the growth rate between 2015 to 2020 and well above the long-term trend.
Explore this record-breaking asset class and discover what you need to know to succeed when you read the report on
Venture capital had a record year in 2021, with total capital invested by fund managers reaching $476bn, and performance breaking records. Exits also soared to $410bn. A growing asset class, venture capital has proven to be a vital component of institutional investor portfolios, with an attractive risk/return profile and high upside – as evidenced by short-term returns in particular.
Find out what’s driving these trends and what else you need to know by reading the full report with
2021 proved to be another holding year for the real estate asset class, with weak fundraising and deal values below the long-term average. But the outlook is improving, with the value added strategy, in particular, of increasing interest to investors. This could be due to the wide range of opportunities to deploy committed capital, while delivering on ESG factors at the same time.
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Investors rewarded the industry with an additional $41bn in 2021 (as of September) and the asset class experienced positive inflows in every quarter. This was on top of the $19bn that investors added to hedge funds in the second half of 2020. This reignited interest was sparked by hedge funds’ strong performance in 2020 and 2021, protecting investors against pullbacks when volatility picked up.
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Infrastructure performance has remained resilient, posting a 13.9% IRR in the one year to March 2021,
making up lost ground from the pandemic. Infrastructure has proved its investment thesis amid the economic upheaval. The spread of AUM across the risk spectrum continues, with value added emerging as the dominant strategy by AUM, surpassing core or core-plus for the
first time in 2021. This suggests investors are increasingly comfortable exploring the asset class; 35% of investors suggest value-added funds present the best opportunities in the next 12 months.
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Distressed debt AUM grew from $200bn in 2019
to $262bn in 2020, as COVID-19 sparked memories
of the 2008 Global Financial Crisis (GFC). Investors
and fund managers provided large allocations based
on the GFC’s indicators of how a global downturn could be managed. As Mark Twain said, “history never repeats itself, but it does often rhyme.” The lessons learned from the GFC did come into play with COVID-19, but not in the ways most lenders expected.
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The share of capital raised by the 50 largest funds continued to climb in 2021, diminishing the proportion secured by funds outside of the top group. While this is where we see the decline in number of funds closed,
a surprising trend has emerged when looking at the share of capital secured by the 10 largest funds. This new analysis of capital concentration may belie LPs' willingness to work with certain types of funds over others, and their evolving relationships with, and trust in, mega funds.
MSCI World TR Index
S&P 500 TR Index
PrEQIn Fund of Funds
PrEQIn Private Equity
Value Added Share of Real Estate Fundraising (Aggregate Capital Raised)
Quarterly Hedge Fund Asset Flows ($bn), Q1 2018 - Q3 2021
1 Year to Mar-21
1 Year to Dec-17
1 Year to Dec-16
1 Year to Dec-15
1 Year to Dec-14
1 Year to Dec-13
1 Year to Dec-12
Annual Global Venture Capital-Backed Deals*, 2006 - 2021 YTD
Proportion of Aggregate Capital Raised by the Largest Unlisted Natural Resources Funds, 2011 - 2021 YTD
Aggregate Deal Value ($bn)
No. of Deals
*Figures exclude add-ons, grants, mergers, secondary stock purchase, and venture debt
Dry Powder ($bn)
Unrealized Value ($bn)
Distressed Debt Assets under Management, 2001 - 2021
1 Year to Dec-20
1 Year to Dec-19
1 Year to Dec-18
Private Capital: Rolling One-Year Horizon IRRs by Asset Class
PrEQIn Index: Private Equity Strategies vs. Public Markets