August founder quits primary investment

Andrew Hartley, a founder of UK mid-market firm August Equity, has joined direct secondaries investor Chamonix Private Equity. The direct secondaries market is ‘the place to be’ as deal flow from financial institutions increases, he says.

Andrew Hartley, one of the founding partners of Kleinwort Benson spin-out August Equity, has left the firm to enter the secondary private equity market, joining direct secondaries firm Chamonix Private Equity.

He joins Chamonix as a partner alongside founders Jane Crawford and Chris Edge.

There are major problems facing the primary market at the moment.

Andrew Hartley

Chamonix, which typically acquires portfolios of private equity and venture capital assets from financial institutions, is set to benefit from a fundamental increase in secondary activity while primary investment struggles, said Hartley in an interview.

Hartley said the market was experiencing difficulties when it comes to completing purchases without leverage and in managing over-levered portfolio companies bought at the height of the market. “There are major problems facing the primary market at the moment. It has fundamentally changed for the foreseeable future,” he said.

“The place to be is in secondaries direct, helping financial institutions manage their portfolios and get back to their core activities,” he added.

Hartley was part of the original management team that spun out UK banking group Kleinwort Benson’s captive mid-market private equity arm to become Kleinwort Capital and ultimately August Equity.

During Hartley’s tenure at August, the firm invested in such businesses as television company Hat Trick Productions and healthcare group Enara. The firm also created publishing company Incisive Media, which is now owned by buyout group Apax Partners, through the merger of two portfolio companies.

Chamonix was founded in 2006 and its first deal was the purchase of a portfolio of ten mid-market buyout investments from 3i.