Fundraising slows down in Q1

The average size of funds that closed in the first quarter was less than half of the average size of funds that closed in the same period in 2014.

The pace of secondaries funds’ final closes slowed down in the first quarter compared to the same period a year ago, with five funds raising $1.3 billion, according to research by PEI’s Research and Analytics division.

In the first quarter of 2014, eight funds closed on $4.6 billion.

The drop is due to the funds closing during the first quarter being on the smaller side. The average size of funds closed in the first quarter this year was $260 million, compared to $575 million for the same period in 2014.

In the first quarter of 2015, PineBridge Investments closed its third secondaries fund, PineBridge Secondary Fund III, with $308 million, short of its $500 million target. In January, Zurich-based Akina closed its first secondaries fund with €224 million.

However, the trend was already being reversed at the beginning of the second quarter with New York-based Lexington Partners announcing it had closed the second largest secondaries fund ever raised.

In April, the firm held a final close on its eighth secondaries fund, Lexington Capital Partners VIII, with $10.1 billion, surpassing its $10 billion hard-cap.

“Secondaries are very much a niche market with a number of very small funds and a few elephants,” said Kelly DePonte, managing director with placement advisory firm Probitas Partners. “When those elephants have a large close, the quarterly numbers or even the annual fundraising totals can vary tremendously.”

In 2014, 32 secondaries funds closed on $32.52 billion, surpassing the 26 secondaries funds that closed on $21.65 billion in 2013.