Fundraising took a tumble in 2018

Last year saw the lowest aggregate annual total since 2014, while the number of individual fund closes also fell markedly.

Private debt fundraising reached $134.9 billion last year, well down from the record total of $211.3 billion in 2017, according to PDI data.

The number of individual fund closes also fell steeply to 154, the lowest amount for the last seven years and a long way from the peak number of 267 in 2015.

While we are able to reveal only the headline numbers at this stage, we will shortly be delving into various breakdowns by strategy and geography and providing you with interactive graphics so you can study the key market dynamics in depth.

It was a year in which fundraising power was concentrated in the hands of a small group of blue-chip GPs. At the end of the third quarter, we reported that the ten largest funds to that point had raised a combined $36.5 billion – 41 percent of the total raised by the market as a whole.

Among the largest funds during the 12 months were Ares Capital Europe IV ($7.5 billion), GSO Capital Solutions Fund III ($7.1 billion), and Broad Street Real Estate Credit Partners III ($4.2 billion). Ares Management kept its fundraising momentum going as last year drew to a close, wrapping up its inaugural Ares Senior Direct Lending Fund on $3 billion of committed capital.

By the end of the third quarter, senior debt funds were leading the way as the most popular strategy, with around $40 billion raised. Subordinated/mezzanine debt and distressed debt funds were battling it out for second place, with both accounting for around $25 billion of capital raised at that stage.

Also at end of the third quarter, multi-regional funds were the most popular in a geographic context with $31.3 billion raised, followed by North America-focused funds on $29.8 billion and Europe-focused funds on $23.6 billion.