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Investors in big private funds are looking for ones with a specific purpose, TPG's Coulter says

  • Big private funds with specific investment goals may be the wave of the future, TPG's James Coulter says.
  • Coulter, whose firm manages over $73 billion, was speaking at Riyadh's Future Investment Initiative conference.
James Coulter speaking at the 2017 Delivering Alpha conference in New York on Sept. 12, 2017.
David A. Grogan | CNBC
James Coulter speaking at the 2017 Delivering Alpha conference in New York on Sept. 12, 2017.

Big private funds with specific investment goals may be the wave of the future, according to TPG's James Coulter.

At Riyadh's Future Investment Initiative conference, Coulter told CNBC's "Squawk Box" on Wednesday that specific ideas are winning out over more generalist funds. He pointed to Masayoshi Son's $100 billion technology-focused Vision Fund.

"The general direction that investors are going in these days is a little bit away from generalist ideas and towards more specific ideas," he said.

TPG recently raised $2 billion for The Rise Fund, the biggest impact-investing fund to date. It is run by TPG's Bill McGlashan and some big profile board members such as the musician/philanthropist Bono, Richard Branson, Reid Hoffman and TPG's Coulter and David Bonderman. The fund's goal is to invest in health care, education and clean energy projects.

Coulter is a founding partner of TPG, which manages over $73 billion with investments and operational teams in 16 offices around the world, according to its website.