Private equity fundraising had been increasing steadily since 2010, and 2014 delivered the best climate experienced in years. But fundraising slowed significantly in the third quarter, and fundraising in 2015 is not expected to be as strong as 2014. That said, the market is still quite healthy.

Interestingly, what could been keeping the fundraising numbers lower is that fact that more limited partners are opting to invest in separate accounts, which are not included in the overall fundraising numbers.

“The largest LPs are moving toward separate account models where they are investing alongside a fund or have the ability to invest across a firm’s entire investment platform,” says Kelly DePonte (pictured), a managing director with Probitas Partners.

The good news is that despite the expected drop-off in fundraising, steady interest in private equity will remain. As private equity firms looked to take advantage of the sellers’ market, many have returned capital to their LPs.

Now, LPs are focused on redeploying the returned capital, freeing up their private equity allocations. There is a continued focus on smaller buyout and growth capital funds in the U.S. and Europe. In 2015, 71 percent of LPs are expecting to invest in U.S. middle-market buyouts, while 58 percent are looking to invest in European funds, according to Probitas Partners’ annual survey. That is a dramatic increase from 2007, when only 49 percent of LPs were looking to invest in U.S. buyouts, and 42 percent were looking to invest in European buyouts.

See the next trend in our special report: Interest Rates Will Rise, But Alternative Lenders Will Rule

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