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The study aims to analyze private equity and venture capital trends in the financial services industry in North America. All related private placement transactions between 2006 and 2011 have been included for analysis. A section provides industry statistics for H1 2012. The study covers a general overview of the private equity industry and financial services industry before delving deep into the investment trends in various sub-sectors such as banks, insurance, real estate and diversified financials. Also included are trends and challenges faced by industry participants as well as opportunities and best practices for investment in North America.Executive SummaryMixed Events in 2011, Challenging Outlook for 2012Private Equity in North AmericaThe year 2011 has been a roller coaster for private equity, with the first half continuing the momentum from the previous year and the second half being affected by the global economic scenario. Fears of a double-dip recession and credit downgrades in the West affected the private equity industry in terms of fundraising, deal activity, and exits.Decreased Activity in 2011, Similar Scenario for 2012FundraisingSince 2008, the majority of investors have either reduced or ceased commitments in the private equity industry due to a combination of high fees and erratic returns. The average time taken to raise funds has also significantly increased by xx percent (xx months to xx months) from 2006 to 2011. Additionally, there was a smaller number of funds raised in 2011 compared to the fundraising cycle of 2005 to 2008. With sluggish growth and increasing risk in developed economies, fundraising would continue to be a challenge in 2012 to 2013.Decreased Deal Volume and Deal ValueInvestmentsInvestments in the private equity industry decreased by about xx percent in 2011 compared to 2010. Similarly, the North American private equity (PE) investments declined by xx percent. With an unsustainable amount of dry powder funds, PE firms are facing increasing pressure to use the money raised in the previous fund cycle. However, distressed companies are reluctant to sell out in the current economic uncertainty, owing to problems regarding correct valuations of their companies.