Advisers of private funds with at least $150 million in assets under management are required to report with the SEC in Form ADV. Most private funds fall into two groups: hedge funds (27%) and private equity funds (41%). Other smaller but significant groups include real estate funds (8%) and venture capitalist funds (12%).
Like most markets, the Big 4 accounting firms audit the majority of private funds. PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) leads the way with over 20% of all private fund clients. The Big 4 as a group audit two-thirds of all private funds.
But the total market is quite diverse. There are 500 different firms that audit nearly 56,000 private funds that issue form ADV with the SEC. Following the Big 4 are some familiar names, such as RSM, BDO, and Grant Thornton. But also in the top 25 are regional firms like Richey May & Co based out of Colorado, Weaver based out of Texas, and Sensiba San Filippo out of California.
The hedge fund, private equity fund, and real estate fund markets have similar audit market share makeups. EY leads with PwC close behind. And KPMG and Deloitte round out the top four. Followed by smaller national and international firms like BDO, Grant Thornton, and RSM.
The venture capitalist fund market, however, is quite different. PwC leads in this market with the other Big 4 firms all in the top 6, but Frank, Rimerman & Co. holds the second-largest shares. Frank Rimerman is based out of California with offices in Palo Alto, San Francisco, San Jose, and St. Helena. Frank Rimerman’s proximity to innovative startups advantages the firm in the venture capitalist market, of which the firm clearly takes advantage.
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