Private equity firms are making it known that they, too, want to pull in retail investors' money just as much as do their hedge fund counterparts.

In fact, the firms formerly known as "barbarians" and "corporate raiders" are following the lead of their hedge fund brethren and crashing the alternative mutual fund space in hopes of expanding their reach, either directly via new funds or through acquisitions.

For example, the Blackstone Group and Kohlberg Kravis Roberts are going at it organically. Blackstone, which was founded in 1985 by Stephen Schwarzman and Peter Peterson and boasts some $205 billion in assets for public and corporate pension funds, academic, cultural and charitable organizations, is prepping its maiden mutual fund offering. Its Blackstone Alternative Multi-Manager Fund intends to employ global macro, opportunistic trading, quantitative and managed futures strategies.

Kohlberg Kravis's new offering is dubbed the KKR Alternative High Yield Fund. This fund will bet on fixed-income products, including high-yield bonds, notes, debentures, convertible securities and preferred stock, according to a regulatory filing.

The Carlye Group is taking an acquisitive approach. The firm officially closed the book on its acquisition of mutual fund creator and manager The TCW Group on Feb. 6.

"We are particularly pleased with TCW's fast-growing mutual fund complex, which has grown by more than 20% since we first announced the transaction in August," noted Olivier Sarkozy, head of Carlyle's financial services team.

New York-based Aquiline Capital Partners and San Francisco-based Genstar Capital last month teamed up to acquire Genworth Wealth Management from Genworth Financial for $412.5 million. The sale includes both of Genworth Wealth Management's businesses: Genworth FinancialWealth Management, an investment management and consulting platform, and Altegris, a provider of alternative mutual funds, hedge funds and separately managed accounts.

Alternative products are expected to make up 15.8% of total mutual fund assets in the next decade, up from less than 3% at the end of 2012, according to a recent Cerulli Associates survey. Sounds like a definite growth opportunity for long-term minded investors.

The barbarians are salivating at the gate.

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