Taking a pause
The stage was set; through the first three quarters of the year, 2018 fundraising volume was setting a torrid pace, only slightly trailing the pace set in 2008 when fund sponsors raised a record $134.9 billion. The nine-month total for 2018 stood at $99.2 billion — already exceeding the full-year total of $98.0 billion in 2017. But it wasn’t meant to be. Only 23 funds — the lowest number since 21 funds closed in second quarter 2012 — announced final closings during the fourth quarter, raising an aggregate $13.1 billion of equity. The fourth quarter figure was the lowest dollar volume since first quarter 2013, when $8.1 billion was raised.
Despite the fourth-quarter slowdown, fund sponsors raised $112.3 billion during 2018, a healthy figure that represents the second-highest mark since the global financial crisis. The total is 15 percent higher than the 2017 total of $98.0 billion.
But fundraising has not screeched to a halt; in fact, it has roared back in early