Private Equity, also called PE, is a source of investment capital from high net worth individuals and institutions for the purpose of investing and acquiring equity ownership in companies. Partners at private-equity firms raise funds and manage these monies to yield favorable returns for their shareholder clients.

Some of the more popular private equity firms are:

AAC Capital Partners
Equistone Partners Europe
Baring Vostok Capital Partners
Baring Private Equity Asia
Kohlberg Kravis Roberts
Irving Place Capital (fka BSMB)
PAI Partners
ABS Capital
Charterhouse Capital Partners
Charterhouse Group
Trimaran Capital Partners
Court Square Capital Partners
CVC Capital Partners
Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe
Bruckmann, Rosser, Sherrill & Co.
Willis Stein & Partners
CIVC Partners
DLJ Merchant Banking
Avista Capital Partners
Diamond Castle Holdings
Castle Harlan
CIP Capital
MidOcean Partners
Madison Dearborn Partners
Goldman Sachs Capital Partners
CCMP Capital (fka JPMorgan Partners)
One Equity Partners
Lazard Alternative Investments
Blackstone Group
The Cypress Group
Trilantic Capital Partners
Merrill Lynch Global Private Equity
Metalmark Capital
Morgan Stanley Capital Partners
Bridgepoint Capital
Terra Firma Capital Partners
UBS Capital
Affinity Equity Partners
Lightyear Capital
Pamlico Capital
William Blair Capital Partners

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