Coller sets up in New York

Coller Capital has appointed Dewey Ballantine partner Frank Morgan to head the firm’s first permanent US office.

Coller Capital, the global secondaries firm that closed the largest secondaries fund yet raised last October on $2.6bn, has appointed Frank Morgan to head the firm’s newly-launched New York office.


Morgan joins the firm from US law firm Dewey Ballantine, where as a partner he focused on capital markets, private equity/venture capital, investment management and technology. He has advised Coller on transactions and other strategic matters since the firm was launched in 1990.


Coller Capital head Jeremy Coller said the move reflected the growing level of business being executed in the US. “Establishing a permanent presence in the United States, where 42 per cent of our capital originates, where some 38 per cent of our assets are located, and where we already spend a substantial amount of time, makes perfect sense.”


Many of the firm’s biggest transactions have originated in the US, including the acquisition of an 80 per cent stake in Lucent New Ventures Group, the venturing unit of the US technology group, at the beginning of 2002. In 1998, Coller Capital acquired the private equity portfolio of the Shell US Pension Trust, valued at $265m.


This year, the firm has been involved in Europe’s two biggest secondary deals. In February, the firm struck a similar deal with British Telecom that saw BTexact Technologies, the group’s advanced research and technology business, link with Coller Capital and New Venture Partners in a deal valued at $100m.


Also in February this year, Coller Capital participated in the E1.5bn acquisition of Deutsche Bank’s late-stage private equity portfolio, backing Ted Virtue and Graham Clempson in their buyout from the German bank. In Europe the DB portfolio includes Center Parcs, United Biscuits, Lecta and Jefferson Smurfit. In the US, principal investments include Jostens, Prestige Brands, Noveon and Jenny Craig.