Kensington began our private equity investment program with the founding of the firm in 1996. To date, Kensington has committed over $1 billion to private equity investments through a succession of private equity programs. In 2002, Kensington began creating Private Equity Partnerships for investors in the private equity market and currently manages several different portfolios in this form. Each of these private partnerships is fully invested and closed to new investors, although we remain active managers of these portfolios.
In 2007, the Kensington Private Equity Fund was created to provide Canadian investors with continuous access to a diversified portfolio of private equity investments across a broad range of industry sectors and investment stages covering the North American economy. The structure of the Kensington Private Equity Fund is unique compared to the typical private equity fund structure. The fund features diversification, liquidity, RRSP-eligibility with no typical J-curve and capital calls. Kensington Private Equity Fund remains open for new investors.
Kensington Private Equity Fund pursues a diversified strategy across the private markets, comprising roughly equal allocations to venture capital, growth equity and mid-market buyouts. The portfolio is balanced between direct investments, where Kensington acts as lead investor or participates more passively as a member of the investor syndicate, as well as investments into other private equity funds. Our portfolio of underlying fund investments provides broad diversification across hundreds of companies, each actively managed by another private equity firm, to provide broad exposure to the North American economy. Our direct investments are selected for their potential to add outsized financial value in specific companies identified by our Kensington team, including opportunities from within our fund-of-funds portfolio. The Kensington Private Equity Fund invests across Canada and the United States.
Fund Investments provide diversification and steady long-term returns. In addition to strong financial performance, we work to develop strong business relationships with each fund manager to add value to their portfolios and generate secondary and co-investment opportunities. Kensington invests in primary and secondary fund positions. A typical Kensington portfolio may hold positions in 10 different underlying funds, representing investments in 75 to 100 different companies.
Direct Investments in specific companies are designed to create the excess returns in our portfolios. Our direct investments are frequently structured as co-investments led by the managers of our portfolio funds. We also select direct investment opportunities outside of our fund portfolios where we can participate as a member of a strong investor syndicate, and take an active role on the Boards of these companies. By actively building our relationships, we generate strong deal flow to select the best direct investments. A typical Kensington portfolio may hold positions in 10 different direct investments, with a combination of active management relationships and more passive co-investments
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