AlpInvest Partners, the private equity firm used by Dutch pension groups APG and PGGM, is the world’s second largest private equity investor and the sole European in a top 10 headed by the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB), according to a new survey.

The remaining 10 investors are all North American and include pension funds the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS), the Teachers Retirement System of Texas and the Oregon Public Employees’ Retirement System, the LP50 survey of private equity investors by information provider PEI showed.

The research covered limited partnerships, institutions that traditionally pool their capital with private equity fund managers.

Overall, the top 50 such institutions have allocated $313bn (€230bn) to the asset class in the last five years.

This year, the study looked beyond fund investments for the first time, PEI said, adding that this reflected an increasing trend for institutions to invest outside the traditional primary fund structure.

Dan Gunner, director of research and analytics at PEI, said: “In the main, fund managers should be pleased to see such strong commitments and allocations to private equity.

“They’ll be less excited to see ever more interest from LPs in direct and co-investment opportunities.”

He added that this was a trend that showed little sign of slowing.

CPPIB came out as the biggest private equity investor in the latest survey, committing $26.2bn to private equity funds in the five years to the end of February, followed by AlpInvest, which had committed $19.5bn.

AlpInvest was owned by APG and PGGM until 2011, when ownership was transferred to the Carlyle Group, but the two Dutch institutional investors remain big investors via the PE manager.

Looking at the larger group of the top 50 private equity investors, North American institutions still dominated, PEI said, with about 60% of total commitments coming from US institutions.

In the top 50, pension funds were the group investing the most, committing $144bn, followed by funds-of-funds, which were responsible for $93.9bn, or 30% of capital pooled by limited partnerships.