PEI Awards 2015 Americas: reclaiming the title

Blackstone, Kirkland & Ellis, Advent and Onex all returned to their first-place positions in PEI’s 2015 Awards.

Blackstone’s strong 2015 was reflected in its performance in PEI’s awards with the firm finishing with a gold medal in two categories.

It beat Warburg Pincus and KKR to claim first place in the Large-Cap Firm of the Year in North America category, returning to the top spot previously gained two years ago. Among activities that made it worthy, in 2015 it closed its Blackstone Capital Partners VII on a massive $18 billion, and above its hard-cap, and its Blackstone Energy Partners II on its $4.5 billion hard-cap.

It was also recognised, along with The Carlyle Group, Permira and TPG Capital, for exiting its co-investment in Freescale Semiconductor. The private equity club of four originally bought the company in 2006 for $17.6 billion, which booked a loss on paper during its initial public offering. But the fund managers held on and surprised many by getting out with their money back in the largest private equity tech-related exit of 2015 to NXP Semiconductors.

Kirkland & Ellis was another big winner, marking its third consecutive year as Law Firm of the Year in North America for Fund Formation. 

Debevoise & Plimpton also reclaimed the gold title as Law Firm of the Year in North America for Transactions, a category it had won for PEI Awards 2011 and 2013.

Advent International and Onex held on to their titles as the previous year’s champions of Firm of the Year in Latin America and in Canada, respectively. 

There were a couple of fresh names, as well. Mercury Capital Advisors won Placement Agent of the Year in North America, having worked on 12 fundraisings in the region targeting over $9 billion combined. Aberdeen Asset Management also popped up to take home the gold for Fund of Funds Manager of the Year in North America, thanks in part to its acquisition of FLAG Capital Management that expanded its private equity resources in the region.

Click HERE to read our full coverage, which details which fund managers, investors, advisors and transactions; click HERE to read the list of Americas winners; click HEREto read the list of winners in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and HERE to view all winners in Asia.