Even after cutting the size of fund commitments, private equity firms are struggling to meet fundraising targets.

According to research firm Preqin, funds that closed in the first quarter of 2010 took, on average, just over 19 months to raise their desired funds, even longer than last year. At the same time, fundraising targets were slashed by an aggregate US$55bn during the quarter.

The amount ultimately raised in the first quarter, US$50bn, was up modestly on the previous quarter but well down from earlier quarters. The last time private equity firms raised so little over a six-month period was the second half of 2004.