Eaton launches direct deals-focused team

The new group within Eaton was established after the firm raised almost $500m for four direct deals in the past six months.

Placement agent Eaton Partners has launched a new team focused on raising capital for direct investments worldwide, the firm said in a Wednesday statement.

The Rowayton, Connecticut-based firm has been working more with general partners and independent sponsors to fundraise for direct deal-by-deal investments, the firm said in the statement.

According to a spokesman, the new team is composed of five people, and no external hires were made specifically to launch this team. The clientele consists of family offices, insurers, sovereign wealth funds, public pension plans, foundations and endowments, and their advisors, he said.

“When Charlie Eaton founded the firm 34 years ago, alternative investments were a new frontier for institutional investors,” Eaton Partners managing director Chrystalle Anstett said. “Today, those institutions have grown in sophistication to the point where they are complementing and, in some cases, replacing their commingled fund investments with direct investments into private companies and other tangible assets.”

The firm, which lists 59 professionals across seven offices on its website, has raised almost $500 million for four direct investments in financial services, power and energy in the past six months, according to the statement, which added that Eaton is eyeing another $50 million of fundraise for direct and co-investment deals.

The spokesman elaborated that Eaton is seeking two additional direct mandates for the second quarter and up to six in the second half of 2017.

The announcement of the new team follows a round of unnamed hires at Eaton’s London office last month, as reported by Private Equity International. The firm hired two people from other placement agencies and one person from a private equity shop, and all are expected to finish their garden leave and begin at Eaton in the next five months.