A new fund placement and corporate advisory business has been formed from the merger of Acanthus Advisers and MMC Advisers.
The business will retain the Acanthus name and will be headed by three managing partners: Armando d’Amico, who established Acanthus in 1998, plus Dermot Crean and Paul Hart, who co-founded MMC in 2001. A six-strong team also includes principals Ian Burgess, Laurent de Rosière and Stephen MacLeod Barnes.
The merger follows an existing joint venture arrangement between the two firms dating from 2002, which led to the award of a joint mandate to raise a fund of up to €110 million ($137 million) on behalf of Milan-based private equity firm Natexis Cape.
Said D’Amico: “Corporate finance capability is becoming more and more necessary when you place a fund. It is nice being a small operation but we believe both GPs and LPs appreciate a boutique with strength in areas such as analysis, research, sales, distribution and client relationships.” He said firms such as Helix Associates and Campbell Lutyens provided examples of the effectiveness of a strong corporate finance element combined with fund placement.
D’Amico built up more than 20 years’ private equity, banking and strategy consulting experience at organisations such as the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, Bain & Co and Alliance Consulting before setting up Acanthus. Crean and Hart jointly established a private placement business at corporate finance firm Hawkpoint Partners before launching MMC Advisers as a spinout. Both previously enjoyed extensive corporate finance experience at various investment banks.
Acanthus is currently financial adviser to HTC Healthcare, a daycare nursery operator seeking expansion capital, and Perfectis Private Equity, the French mid/small cap investor that raised an €80 million fund in 2002. It also advises UK fund of funds Westport, Germany’s Triangle Venture Capital and French mid-market private equity group Pragma Capital.