Private equity is taking off, and breaking records along the way.
In some ways, private equity's gain comes at the expense of hedge funds' losses. In others, it is simply emblematic of the tremendous amount of capital sloshing around the world, with few other places to invest after almost a decade of low interest rates.
North American funds secured their highest first-quarter fundraising total ever, raising $62 billion, according to data compiled by Preqin, an alternative assets research firm. Worldwide, 253 private capital funds ended their fundraising process in the quarter, hauling in $156 billion, the data showed, which was the best first quarter since right before the financial crisis.
The momentum is likely to continue into the second quarter, with more than 3,000 funds currently marketing to investors, according to Preqin.