Largest ever fundraise confirms Ardian’s leading global position and coming of age for the secondary market.

Ardian, the independent private investment company, has reinforced its global market-leading position in Funds of Funds by announcing its latest cycle of fundraising has attracted investment of US$14bn. The US$14bn is comprised of US$10.8bn from Ardian’s seventh generation secondary platform and US$3.2bn of primary investments.

This comes less than two years after Ardian raised US$10bn through its previous round of fundraising. Ardian has now raised US$27.4bn for secondary investment in under five years.

This latest round of fundraising confirms Ardian as a global leader in Funds of Funds, attracting major institutional investors from North America, Europe, the Middle East, Asia and South America. In total, this amounts to 180 investors from 26 different countries. Around 25% of the fund has already been invested through six transactions.

Ardian has been a leading player in the evolving secondary market, and secondary funds now offer similar liquidity levels to that provided by other asset classes. As a result, the secondary market is attracting different types of sellers, and banks and insurance companies no longer dominate. They are now being joined by new types of sellers, who include sovereign wealth funds and pension trustees. Many sellers use the secondaries market as a tool to manage their private equity portfolios in a more proactive way.

Vincent Gombault, Member of the Executive Committee and Head of Funds of Funds at Ardian, said: “To raise this amount of money in so short a time since our last fund clearly demonstrates not only the strength of our fundraising capability, but also the trust and quality returns we offer our investors around the world.”

Benoît Verbrugghe, Member of the Executive Committee Head of Ardian US, added: “We have enjoyed considerable success in our fundraising efforts over the past five years. Our scale means that we are able to partner with a broad spectrum of institutions and investors on secondary deals – from banks seeking liquidity in response to increased capital requirements to pension funds looking to rebalance private equity holdings.”

Olivier Decannière, Member of the Executive Committee and Head of Ardian UK, added: “We can now say that the secondary market has come of age. Private equity has historically been a non-liquid asset class. Our latest fundraise confirms the emergence of a liquid secondary market which has the potential to transform the character of this asset class. Ardian Funds of Funds is at the forefront of that.”