GI 30 methodology

Take a look at how we put the GI 30 together and determine who are the biggest private debt investors.

The ranking is based on the market value of investors’ private debt investment portfolios. This is measured at a single point in time for all investors. For the 2021 ranking, this is 31 December 2020. This is a ranking of investors only and not funds of funds, private debt funds or banks

What counts in the ranking

  • Private debt investment
    This is defined as capital committed to a dedicated programme of investing in the debt of private companies, or the nonbank debt financing of leveraged buyouts, private infrastructure projects and private real estate. This includes distressed debt, funds of private debt funds, royalty financing, senior debt, subordinated/mezzanine debt, unitranche and venture debt.
  • Investor criteria
    Both investors with a defined allocation to private debt, as well as those that are active investors in private debt funds but may not have a defined allocation, are considered. Where the investments are in a ‘grey area’, we reserve the right to make the final judgment based on applicability according to our definition. Investors’ definition of private debt may not entirely mirror the definition given above. Hence, we will use discretion to determine the most appropriate figure for each investor profiled.

Structures and strategies

Capital committed or invested through the following strategies is included:

  • Funds (both open-end and closed-end)
  • Separately managed accounts
  • Commitments to fund managers that happen to be publicly traded
  • Capital committed to co-investment vehicles
  • Direct investments
  • Proprietary capital only – we do not consider assets managed on behalf of third parties

Investors with direct lending platforms themselves are also considered for this ranking.

What the ranking excludes

  • Expected commitments
    Pending or future commitments and investments or the uncommitted portion of an institution’s target allocation
  • Hedge funds
    Hedge fund strategies as these primarily target liquid securities or trading strategies
  • Opportunistic investments

With these, there is no hard capital allocation to an investment programme

  • Third-party capital
    Capital raised from third parties for investment into private debt.

Research process
We seek to communicate directly by phone and email with investors to find out the market value of their private debt portfolio as described above. In the absence of primary data, the team gathers data from secondary sources and seeks to validate the researched figure with the investors themselves before we publish the final list.