After facing several challenging years for fundraising, private equity firms are finally seeing an uptick. In 2012, they raised $311 billion, according to data provider Preqin - more than they have in any year since 2008.

"We have reached a new normal," explains Kelly DePonte (pictured), a managing director with placement agent Probitas Partners, which has offices in San Francisco, New York, London and Hong Kong. "The boom period was driven by a highly liquid debt market, which created a frothy private equity market, but that fundraising market was an aberration. Fundraising levels in 2012 were about 15 percent higher than 2011. We are not getting back to 2007 and we shouldn't. We are in a good place now."

As 2013 gets off to a promising start, here are six signs of health in PE fundraising.

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