Specialization is changing the profile of private equity. In the past two weeks, one major general partner set up a joint venture with a European financial services specialist, another purchased a commodity specialist, while yet another let it be known that it would be raising a multi-billion dollar energy fund, after shelving a fundraising project for a generalist buyout fund last spring. It's no accident that the latter's greatest recent successes have been energy investments.
Palico data shows that some $15 billion was raised for industry-focused strategies in the first six months of 2012 - a record first half for such funds. For the first nine months of the year, five out the ten largest closings were achieved by funds with specialist strategies.
Those figures make it easier to understand why 33 percent of GPs in a recent poll said they plan to adopt more narrowly focused sector strategies going forward.