Probitas Partners, the US placement agent which recently opened an office in London, is looking to expand into offering consultancy services to investors in private equity partnerships.
Probitas has hired Kelly DePonte, a former senior executive at US gatekeeper and alternative investment advisor Pacific Corporate Group. DePonte will be primarily responsible for sourcing, providing due diligence and executing alternative investment fund opportunities for Probitas Partners’ fund placement business. DePonte's brief also include to help Probitas expand into advising limited partners looking to manage their exposure to the asset class in the secondaries market, as well as developing asset management business for Probitas.
The firm has also hired former Merrill Lynch vice president Reidan Cruz. Cruz worked at Merrill’s Capital Markets Product Development Group, and will be involved in the firm’s more traditional placement activity.
Placement agents are increasingly looking to leverage off their knowledge of the institutional market place to open up new revenue streams and win business from the buyside. London-based agent Campbell Lutyens is another example of this trend, looking to combine placement expertise with a corporate finance skillset in order to offer consultancy services to LPs, with particular emphasis on liquidity management.
Probitas, which was launched in September 2001 and has offices in San Francisco, New York and London, is targeting the European market to expand its alternative investment consultancy services.
In May, the firm entered into a strategic relationship with Rothschild, the UK investment bank, which will see co-operation in the European private fund placement market, as well as participating in negotiations and due diligence on European private equity fund managers.