The US private equity group Warburg Pincus has raised $17.3bn for the largest fund in its 57-year history, joining a handful of peers in that have beat their targets as others struggle to bring in cash.

The firm began soliciting investments for the new fund about two years ago with a $16bn target. The fund will focus on Warburg’s core business of corporate buyouts and equity stakes in companies, aiming to make between 75 and 90 investments averaging about $175mn apiece.

Unlike some rivals, privately held Warburg has not dramatically increased the sizes of its funds and has largely avoided, in recent years, moving into new business lines such as credit in order to rapidly expand assets under management.

That strategy has meant that firms that were close to Warburg’s size 15 years ago, such as Blackstone Group, have grown more than 10 times as large by assets.

Warburg chief executive Chip Kaye said the group’s measured approach had appealed to investors, citing its plans to “remain disciplined about investment pacing”. Timothy Geithner, its chair, has said there currently is a “premium on diversification”.

Source: Financial Times