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PEI Awards 2015: let the battle commence

Voting is off to a flying start, and there’s barely a hair’s breadth between firms in many of the categories – just one vote could sway it.

We’re one week in to the voting period for the annual PEI awards, and already some interesting races are beginning to shape up across all three of our designated regions.

The battle to be crowned Large-Cap Firm of the Year is a tough one in all three regions, with CVC Capital Partners currently leading the field in Europe, Baring Private Equity Asia pulling ahead in Asia on the back of its $3.98 billion fund close, and fundraising behemoths The Blackstone Group and Warburg Pincus fighting it out in the Americas.

MBK Partners and Navis Capital partners are neck-and-neck in the race for mid-market firm of the year in Asia, while a clear favourite is appearing in the fight for Secondaries Firm of the Year in the region.

Mercury Capital Advisors is just a whisker ahead of Eaton Partners in the Placement Agent of the Year in North America, while over in Europe Lazard is extending its lead.

In the close-run race for Firm of the Year in Benelux, Waterland Private Equity Investment is currently leading the field on the strength of its lightning-fast fundraise, but two of its competitors are not far behind.

Credit Suisse has had a good year by industry reckoning, putting up a strong fight in one of our new categories, Secondaries Advisor of the Year, across the regions. Ditto Apax Partners, which seems in with a good chance of walking off with at least one award this year.

There’s still no clear front-runner for LP of the Year in Europe, while over in the Americas and Asia industry insiders seem in closer agreement on who’s impressed this year. The battle for Deal of the Year in both Europe and Asia is far from over, while in North America a clear favourite is emerging.

However, no firm should be resting on its laurels; reigning champions in several categories look to be in danger of being knocked off their perches. With voting open for another three weeks, at this point no race is a done deal.

Haven’t had your say yet? Get voting now for the firms you think have been the star performers of 2015.