13 Top Private Equity Firms of 2024

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If you've ever thought about taking your business to the next level, chances are you've considered the idea of securing outside investment to help you grow and bring your ideas to reality.

This is where private equity firms step into the picture — checkbooks in hand. Essentially, private equity investments are a form of financing in which funds and investors directly invest in private companies or conduct buyouts of public companies.

In the sections below, we’re going to dive into and look at some of the top private equity firms operating today. We’ll explore the top players and shed light on their strategies, performance, and track records. Let’s dive in! 

Also Recommended: Check out our comprehensive list of the top venture capital firms.

Biggest Private Equity Firms

As we dive into the who's who of the private equity world, we've curated a list of some of the top firms that have made their marks in recent history.

These are powerhouses you should definitely have on your radar, so get ready for an exciting look at the world of private equity. 

1. KKR

Established in 1976, KKR has grown to become a powerhouse in the realm of private equity. Making a name for itself through strategic investments and partnerships with high-performing companies, they’ve established a reputation reflective of their longstanding commitment to operational excellence and industry leadership. 

KKR is well known for building up close partnerships with management teams and offering access to their industry expertise, operational capabilities, and expansive global network. Their broad investment strategies include traditional buyouts, growth capital, minority investments, and public toehold opportunities. KKR stands strong with an impressive track record, having completed over $700 billion in transactions.

Demonstrating confidence in diverse markets, the firm has recently closed sizable private equity funds focused on the Americas, Asia, and Europe. These funds will be invested across various industries in each region, reinforcing KKR’s commitment to global investment. The firm's private equity team continually sees opportunities in partnering with companies and employs their operational skills with visionary direction to support businesses in their international expansion endeavors.

2. Blackstone

Blackstone, with a portfolio exceeding $137 billion, stands as one of the leading firms in the private equity industry. Its legacy began in 1985, and since then, it has been consistently making waves in the financial world with its strategic investments in established companies across various sectors worldwide. Blackstone's investment strategy is designed around growth enhancement and performance boosting, and they take pride in establishing enduring value through in-depth insights, robust relationships, and operational support.

Headquartered in New York, Blackstone shines a spotlight on several noteworthy ventures within its vast portfolio, including Emerson Climate Technologies, a company innovating solutions for the heating, air conditioning, and refrigeration industries; Hello Sunshine, a media firm founded by actress Reese Witherspoon that focuses on female-oriented content; and Ancestry, the largest provider of DNA services for family history tracing.

3. TPG

TPG, a titan among global alternative asset management firms, has an impressive $139 billion under management. Imbued with a spirit of innovation and collaboration, TPG prides itself on its unique approach of zeroing in on organic growth. The firm's operations span five platforms bundling together 17 different products. This versatility stretches across private equity, growth investments, impact investing, real estate, and other strategies.

With roots dating back to the 1990s, TPG has consistently chalked up a rich history of successful deals and growth strategies. Their global presence can be felt from its numerous locations around the world, showcasing deep industry reach and investment breadth. 

Through the years, TPG has continued to broaden its sector focus, marking its territories in a wide range of industries from healthcare and technology to real estate and beyond.

4. CVC Capital Partners

With an expansive reach and an impressive €100 billion under its management, CVC Capital Partners has established itself as an industry titan in the global private equity realm. With 25 offices scattered around the globe, CVC Capital Partners invests across a diversified range of six complementary strategies. As a part of their portfolio, for instance, you'll find Breitling — the well-recognized luxury watch brand. 

CVC Capital Partners works with a unique motive: to generate sustainable value. They achieve this by partnering with management teams and assisting with expansion, fuelling innovation and driving ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) initiatives.

5. RA Capital Management

RA Capital Management is a frontrunner in evidence-based investing. With a strategic emphasis on healthcare and life sciences entities, this Boston-based firm caters to all stages of company growth, from budding startups to established public corporations.

RA Capital isn't merely an investor. The firm stands out with its pioneering TechAtlas division, an entity dedicated to comprehensive research on scientific and clinical data. This data-driven approach helps in shaping well-informed investment decisions. Beyond that, the firm constantly aims to forge companies with the potential to successfully devise and introduce new drugs, devices, and technological advancements, all with one goal in mind: enhancing patient outcomes.

6. General Atlantic

General Atlantic has grown into a global powerhouse for growth equity investments. With its roots grounded deeply in entrepreneurship, this firm assists its portfolio companies in accomplishing compelling successes, as evidenced by its staggering $77 billion in assets under management. 

Recent financial outlays from General Atlantic that are noteworthy include a £280 million ($349 million) infusion into Butternut Box, catalyzing the expansion of dog food delivery across Europe, and a significant investment of upwards of $160 million to bolster MAC Hospitals' growth and enhance healthcare accessibility in Mexico. 

General Atlantic takes a proactive stand on responsible investing. It annually publishes climate and ESG reports on its BeyondNetZero fund to champion sustainable investing. With a vast network of offices worldwide, General Atlantic's reach is truly global as it continues to empower innovative companies from every corner of the world.

7. Insight Partners

Based out of New York City, Insight Partners has made its mark as an eminent venture capital and private equity firm known for assisting businesses in their journey from novices to industry leaders. With a history spanning multiple decades, Insight has been instrumental in catapulting over 600 companies to greater heights through strategic funding and networking.

Insight Partners doesn't just provide financial backing; it helps businesses throughout the various stages of financial build-up, from Series A funding to even later stages like Series C, acquisitions, or IPOs. The Insight Partners portfolio is full of successful businesses, including Monday.com, SentinelOne, nCino, and Pluralsight.

By equipping founders with the necessary resources to fast-track growth, this VC firm catapults ventures in sectors as diverse as fintech, cybersecurity, edtech, and healthcare to positions of industry dominance. It isn't merely an investment firm; it's a relentless force powering the dreams of entrepreneurs.

8. Bain Capital

Bain Capital Private Equity stands as a global front-runner in the investment domain. This firm is credited with initiating a novel approach that champions an alliance with management teams, a strategic move to bolster the expansion and development of companies. 

With its origins traced back to a series of successful ventures, Bain Capital proudly displays its completion of over 1,100 investments. This achievement was orchestrated through its private equity funds spread across 11 offices worldwide. 

The firm stands apart in its rigorous approach to portfolio companies. Leveraging industry insights coupled with significant resources, Bain Capital fuels strategic transformations, setting new paradigms in the investment sector.

9. The Carlyle Group

The Carlyle Group is a leading international investment firm managing an impressive portfolio amounting to $385 billion. Established in the heart of Washington D.C. in 1987, the firm has flourished into a global powerhouse. Today, it operates from 29 offices worldwide staffed by over 2,200 investment experts. 

Carlyle displays a multifaceted approach to investment, overseeing private equity, credit, and investment solutions. Known for its global perspective, Carlyle employs their extensive network to generate insights, instigate positive change, and foster enduring partnerships. 

A commitment to diversity and inclusion also underscores their ethos as they acknowledge the value of varied viewpoints for superior problem-solving. Recently, Carlyle transitioned into a full C corporation, showing its dedication to transparency in shareholding and an industry-leading stance on governance rights.

10. Thoma Bravo

Rooted in a rich history of over 450 successful transactions, Thoma Bravo has maneuvered its way to managing a current portfolio of over 75 diverse companies.

Among their notable investments, companies such as Coupa Software, UserTesting, and Nearmap stand out as shining examples of Thoma Bravos' ability to recognize potential and foster growth. With an eye on the future, they continue to diversify their portfolio, evident in their recent acquisitions of ForgeRock and Magnet Forensics. These strategic moves mark their expansion into the digital identity and digital forensics sectors, which is an insightful reflection of their dynamic investment strategies.

Thoma Bravo has a unique approach, firmly believing in partnering with seasoned management teams to ensure sustainable growth and success. This blend of smart investing and collaborative growth strategies has cemented Thoma Bravo's position as a leading private equity firm, making it an unmistakable beacon for entrepreneurs.

11. Advent International

Advent International has four decades of stellar history as a global leader in the niche world of private equity investment. Their forte lies in aiding businesses, helping them to realize their long-term visions by overcoming hurdles and solidifying formidable relationships with management teams. Advent takes pride in its diverse workforce, working tirelessly to broaden their horizons in technology. 

Their strengths are assisting companies to grapple with challenges, fostering diversity, focusing on the future, and nurturing its dynamic community that persistently learns and adapts. 

Not only that but their portfolio is peppered with notable achievements and partnerships, which only further underlines their proficiency in their specific, focused industries and sectors.

12. Vista Equity Partners

Vista Equity Partners, a prominent player in the private equity sector, focuses on leveraging its capital and expertise to drive transformation and growth in its portfolio companies. With a keen eye for potential, the firm specializes in identifying undervalued or underperforming businesses in industries ripe for innovation or disruption.

This private investment firm focuses investments primarily on middle-market companies, enterprise software, and technology companies at every stage of growth. Their investment portfolio boasts over 85 companies and over $302 billion in aggregate transaction value.

Their investment strategy often involves working closely with management teams to implement operational improvements, pursue strategic mergers and acquisitions, and expand market reach. This hands-on approach aims to unlock value and accelerate growth — ultimately delivering robust returns to the firm’s investors.

13. Apollo Global Management

Apollo Global Management stands as a titan in the private equity world, renowned for its astute investment strategies and formidable portfolio of companies. Specializing in private equity investing, Apollo harnesses its extensive capital resources, deep industry knowledge, and global network of relationships to identify and execute on opportunities that promise substantial value creation.

Sustainability and ethical considerations have increasingly become integral to their investment framework, reflecting a broader industry trend toward responsible investing. Apollo has committed to integrating environmental, social, and governance (ESG) criteria into its investment analysis and decision-making processes.

Within their private equity fund, the firm has $75.9 billion in assets under management. Active for more than three decades, this fund centers on three principal transaction types: buyouts, corporate carve outs, and deleveraging investments.