HarbourVest Partners, a Boston-based private markets investor founded in 1982, has navigated its share of private-equity market cycles. Now with more than $112 billion in assets under management, the firm is an active backer of both private-equity funds as well as deals. It has been investing out of HarbourVest Fund XII, a more than $3 billion pool raised in 2022 and a $4.2 billion co-investment fund closed that same year to back private-equity deals alongside other fund managers.
WSJ Pro Private Equity spoke to HarbourVest Managing Director Scott Voss about lessons learned from the last year—when overall private-equity fundraising sputtered—and going forward, the forces that stand to shape private equity and the decision-making at institutional investors that back the industry’s funds. In 2023, private-equity firms raised $556.1 billion globally, just a sliver above the $548.8 billion of 2022, though the number of funds raised plummeted by 48% to 593 last year, according to data provider PitchBook Data. Fund managers will face more competition for slices of a smaller investment capital pie this year, available data indicate.
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