Compiling the PDI 50

Revealing the process we undertook to decide what qualifies for inclusion.

What counts?

Structures

• Limited partnerships
• Co-investment funds
• Separate accounts
• Capital raised by private debt managers that happen to be publicly traded
• Seed capital and GP commitments

Strategies

• Senior debt funds
• Subordinated debt funds
• Mezzanine funds
• Distressed debt funds
• Leasing funds
• Venture debt funds
• Royalty financing funds

What does not count?

• Expected capital commitments
• Public funds
• Contributions from sponsoring entities
• Capital raised for funds of private debt funds or secondaries vehicles
• Equity funds (private equity, real estate, infrastructure)
• High-yield bond funds
• Traditional fixed-income vehicles
• Collateralised loan obligation funds
• Hedge funds
• Capital raised on a deal-by-deal basis
• Leverage

The 2020 PDI 50 is based on the amount of private debt investment capital raised by firms between 1 January 2015 and 1 June 2020. Where two firms have raised the same amount of capital over this period, the higher ranking goes to the firm with the largest active pool of capital raised since 2015 (the biggest single fund). If there is still a tie after taking into account the size of the largest funds, greater weight is given to the firm that has raised the most capital over the previous 12 months.

The highest priority is given to information we receive from or confirm directly with private debt managers themselves. When firms confirm details, we seek to ‘trust but verify’. Some details simply cannot be verified by us, and in these instances we defer to the honour system.

To encourage co-operation from private debt firms that might make the PDI 50, we do not disclose which ones have aided us on background and which have not. If we have not had confirmation of details from the firm itself, we seek to corroborate information using its website, press releases, limited partner disclosures and similar sources.

Defining private debt

For the purposes of the PDI 50, the definition of private debt is capital committed by investors to a dedicated programme of investing in the debt of private companies, or the debt financing of leveraged buyouts, infrastructure projects and real estate. This encompasses all elements of the capital structure except equity, and includes senior, unitranche and mezzanine investments. Asset-backed lending, distressed debt or credit-oriented special situations funds are also included.

Quantifying capital raised

For the purposes of the PDI 50, capital raised means capital definitively committed to a private debt direct investment programme. In the case of a fundraising, it means the fund has had a final or official interim close on or after 1 January 2015.

The full amount of a fund if it has a close after this date may be counted. The full amount of an interim close (a real one, not a ‘soft-circle’) that has occurred recently, even if no official announcement has been made, may also be counted, as may capital raised through co-investment vehicles. BDCs are not included.