Of all the trends revealed by this year’s list of capital raised over the past five years by the top 50 managers, one of the most striking is how substantially the total amassed continues to grow. Another heartening trend is that the top 10 are now accounting for less than half of all capital raised – a shift with sizable symbolic significance and part of a longer-term movement.

In 2018, the total capital raised was $708.6 billion, continuing the remarkable growth over the previous decade. This year, it is $775.9 billion – an increase of $67.3 billion, or 9.5 percent, on last year – as LPs continue to boost their private debt exposure. The top 10 is also accounting for proportionally less of the PDI 50 than it has in previous years. However, the list does remain top-heavy.

Back in 2015, the top 10 accounted for 54.5 percent of the capital raised by the top 50 firms – although the official PDI 30 list did not include those firms that would have ranked 31st or lower – and last year it accounted for 50.5 percent.

This year the top 10 accounts for 48 percent of the capital raised by the entire top 50 – still a sizeable amount, but a shrinking one as the firms ranked 11-50 step up. As the leading pack dip below the symbolically important 50 percent mark, the greater depth of the market comes into sharper relief.

The total raised by this year’s top 10 is $372.1 billion. By comparison, the top 10 from the first PDI 30 list in 2013 had raised $203.3 billion. The top-ranked firm from that year was Apollo with $33 million, which in 2019 would only be good enough for ninth place.

The increasing depth of the market has been key to its continued, explosive growth. The firms ranked 31st to 50th in 2015 – which were outside the published PDI 30 list – only raised $51 billion between them. This year the figure has risen to $132.5 billion, which represents an increase of around $20 billion for each year since 2015.

Looking below the list once more, a further $170.8 billion has been raised by the 50 firms beneath 2019’s PDI 50, $88.4 billion of which came from the firms that would rank 51st to 70th.

The firm that rounded out the first ever PDI 30 was Pacific Coast Capital Partners, which had raised $3.3 billion over the previous five years. Raising that much capital now would leave a firm not just outside the PDI 50 ranking, but only just squeaking into the top 75 – at number 74.

The private debt market is bigger than ever. The PDI 50 is too.