Adams Street puts emphasis on innovation with new hire

In the role of head of product strategy, Steve Landau will explore new products, strategies, geographies and channels.

Adams Street Partners is putting innovation front and centre with the creation of a new role – head of product strategy.

Steve Landau, who joined the $32 billion asset manager’s New York office on 2 July at partner level, will report to chief operating officer Jim Walker, according to a statement.

Landau joins from FS Investments, an alternative asset manager with $20 billion under management. Before that, he was head of product development and alternative investment business development at New York Life Investment Management, where he led product innovation across traditional and alternative strategies, according to the statement.

Adams Street has long-established programmes in primaries, secondaries, direct growth equity and co-investments, and added a private credit platform to the stable in 2016.

“We expect this evolution of the firm’s offerings and capabilities to continue,” Jeff Diehl, managing partner and head of investments, told Private Equity International in an email.

“Steve’s hiring represents our ongoing commitment to developing and implementing new capabilities in a manner that is aligned with our clients’ needs. He will lead our efforts in exploring innovative private markets solutions, including new products, strategies, geographies and channels.”

As investors become increasingly sophisticated, they are looking for more tailored options to meet their needs, Diehl wrote. Adams Street is seeing significant demand for customised mandates from institutional investors with established private markets programmes, while those newer to certain segments – such as private credit – are looking for discrete offerings.

“We’re also seeing an increase of interest from our clients in regards to more niche capabilities, such as geography-focused mandates (such as Asia-only), or sub-class/sector specific portfolios which focus on, for example, the US small market buyout space, or healthcare-only investments.”

According to June 2017 investor interviews conducted by Preqin, 32 percent of LPs either have or are considering a separate account, and 25 percent intend to increase activity in this area over the longer term.

Adams Street also works with high-net-worth and ultra-high-net-worth retail investors through registered investment advisors, and sees strong interest from RIAs and broker-dealers for incorporating a private markets allocation into portfolios.

“We will continue to innovate our product offerings to provide access to various financial advisors and wealth managers,” Diehl wrote.