Private Equity Fundraising Hits Highest Level Since 2008

U.S Private Fundraising Has Grown 30 Percent In The Last Eight Years

WASHINGTON – Fundraising by the private equity industry rose to $231 billion in 2017, a 14 percent increase from 2016, according to the American Investment Council’s (AIC) 2017 Q4 Private Equity Trends report, released today.

“The level of fundraising in 2017 shows that investors have great trust in the private equity industry,” said AIC President and CEO Mike Sommers. “Our industry’s long-standing record of success is good news for both investors and businesses across the country that benefit from private equity investment and expertise.”

In parallel with high fundraising, 2017 saw investment volumes drop to $526 billion, an 11 percent decline from 2016. The low investment environment comes as valuations approach record highs, limiting the market for favorable prospective deals. In addition, exit volumes also fell to $397 billion.

“While investment volumes remain strong, the drop in 2017 reflects the reluctance of private equity managers to invest in high-priced companies,” said Bronwyn Bailey, AIC Vice President of Research and Investor Relations. “As interest rates rise in 2018, valuations should normalize and private equity is expected to fuel investment using its significant stock of dry powder.”

Below are key findings from the report. Read the full report here.

  1. U.S. PE Investment Volume Falls: U.S. private equity investment volume fell to $526 billion in 2017 from $592 billion in 2016.
  2. Equity Contributions Increase: Total equity financing for leveraged buyouts increased to 43.7 percent in 2017, an increase from 43.6 percent in 2016.
  3. U.S. Fundraising Rises: U.S. private equity fundraising volume increased 14 percent, from $202 billion to $231 billion in 2017.
  4. Dry Powder Rises: Callable capital reserves of global buyout funds rose to $1,629 billion in 2017 from $1,538 billion in 2016.
  5. Exit Volumes Increased: U.S. private equity exit volume fell from $433 billion to $397 billion in 2017.

 About the American Investment Council

The American Investment Council (AIC) is an advocacy and resource organization established to develop and provide information about the private investment industry and its contributions to the long-term growth of the U.S. economy and retirement security of American workers. Member firms of the AIC consist of the country’s leading private equity and growth capital firms united by their successful partnerships with limited partners and American businesses. More information about the AIC can be found at

Media Contact:

Laura Christof
Manager of Communications