Arctos Sports Partners has hired an experienced investor from JPMorgan as it seeks to raise $1.5 billion for its debut fund.
The Dallas-headquartered sports-focused firm appointed Robyn Slutzky as a partner and head of capital solutions, according to a statement seen by Private Equity International. She will focus on investor relations and capital raising activities, investment strategy and overall firm governance.
“The opportunity to partner with [Arctos founder] Ian [Charles] and co and build a firm in a new category is something unique, something I feel I’ve spent my whole career preparing for,” Slutzky told Private Equity International.
Slutzky was most recently co-head of private equity due diligence at JPMorgan’s private bank, which she joined in 2017. Her previous experience includes investing in private equity funds and co-investment opportunities at Prudential Financial, as well as at Quilvest Capital Partners and AlpInvest Partners.
“Funds of funds, insurance companies, family office, private bank, [Robyn]’s got a really well-rounded perspective on different kinds of LPs, how they think, and what’s important to them,” Charles told PEI.
Arctos launched in April last year and was founded by Charles, a veteran secondaries investor and partner at Simsbury, Connecticut-headquartered Landmark Partners, as PEI reported. The firm received backing from Goldman Sachs Asset Management‘s minority stakes business.
The firm’s debut fund, Arctos Sports Partners Fund I, is understood to be eyeing a final close on more than $1.5 billion around the summer.
Fund I has already invested in around 12 deals, according to a source familiar with the fund. One of these is a stake in National Basketball Association team the Golden State Warriors, according to a report by Sportico, which said Arctos had acquired a roughly 5 percent stake valuing the franchise at around $5.5 billion.
Representatives from Arctos declined to comment on the firm’s fundraising and deal activity.
Slutzky’s appointment follows that of Theo Epstein, a veteran baseball executive who joined the firm in February.
Private investments in sports has garnered increased attention over the past 18 months as the coronavirus crisis presents both a serious threat and a potential buying opportunity for private equity sponsors. Last week, RedBird Capital Partners and basketball star LeBron James acquired minority stakes in Fenway Sports Group, the owner of Liverpool football club and the Boston Red Sox, while CVC Capital Partners in March agreed to pay as much as £365 million ($505 million; €427 million) for a stake in the Six Nations rugby union tournament.
The global live sports industry generated $144 billion in revenue last year with North America accounting for just over half of that total, according to estimates by PwC.