Looking back: Top 5 biggest fund closes of 2022

Ardian and ICG took the top two spots on the list with their record-breaking raises.

It was hardly smooth sailing for most private equity players in 2022 when it came to fundraising, and it was no different for secondaries peers.

Secondaries fundraising dipped 30 percent year-over-year in the first half with $31.2 billion raised, according to Secondaries Investor data.

The fall came off the back of a rapid period of secondaries fundraising over the past two-and-a-half years, topped by a record $98.8 billion in 2020.

Secondaries funds, however, are seen as a safe bet in an inflationary environment, market participants have told Secondaries Investor. Over half (56 percent) of LPs plan to find the cash to commit to private equity secondaries funds over the next 12 months – the highest proportion of respondents to express their interest in the market since 2019, results from affiliate title’s Private Equity International’s LP Perspectives 2023 Study show.

Despite the headwinds, some managers were able to close on some impressive figures in 2022. Here are the top five standalone secondaries closes of the past year:

In April, Ardian claimed the crown for the largest-ever infrastructure secondaries fundraise. The Paris-headquartered firm hit the $5.25 billion hard-cap on ASF VIII Infrastructure after nine months in market. ASF VIII Infrastructure was targeting $4 billion, a source with knowledge of the fundraise told Secondaries Investor at the time. The fundraise represented a 3x increase on its 2017-vintage predecessor, which raised $1.65 billion.

In June, another fund pushed boundaries. ICG‘s Strategic Equity team held the final close on its fourth vehicle, raising the largest dedicated pool of capital focusing on GP-leds. The London-headquartered firm exceeded the $5 billion target for ICG Strategic Equity IV. The fund had been in market for around a year-and-a-half, according to Secondaries Investor data. The fundraise set a new bar for dedicated GP-led strategies.

In September, Neuberger Berman collected $4.9 billion for its flagship secondaries vehicle, NB Secondary Opportunities Fund V, surpassing its $3 billion target. The fund, which had been in market since 2020, is nearly double the size of predecessor Fund IV, a $2.5 billion vehicle.

Pomona Capital and StepStone Group took joint fourth place for their fundraises during the year.

Pomona reached the final close on its 10th flagship fundraise in June, gathering $2.6 billion and surpassing its $2 billion target. Pomona Capital X is 44 percent larger than its predecessor, which closed on $1.75 billion in 2018.

StepStone held a $2.6 billion close on StepStone VC Secondaries Fund V in May. The vehicle was raised by the Greenspring Associates team, which StepStone agreed to acquire in July last year and whose last independent secondaries fund was $800 million.