Evercore expands US team with hire

Jim Swindell will join the firm's growing US private placement practice, overseeing clients in the Midwest.

Evercore Partners has hired Jim Swindell as a managing director with the private funds group in the US to focus on limited partners in the Midwest.

Swindell most recently worked as a managing director at Knight Capital, where he oversaw the launch of the firm’s placement business. Previously, he was senior vice president for Lehman Brothers’ private equity fund raising group, which raised Lehman Brothers’ funds and worked with third-party firms on fundraising.

“I’ll be calling on investors predominantly in the Midwest, many of whom I have been covering over the last 10 years,” Swindell told PEO in an interview, describing the network of LPs he’s built up over the last decade.

Evercore started a private fund placement business in February when it acquired the fund placement team from asset manager Neuberger Berman. Evercore established a London office, and has been expanding its presence in the US. The US team has eight professionals, including Lincoln Singleton, who was hired in August to manage relationships with LPs in the southeast and Texas. The firm is still looking to hire someone to manage relationships on the west coast.

Jim
Swindell

The team wants to have in between seven and 12 fundraising mandates at any one time. Evercore also is planning on building out its fundraising presence in Asia, including Australia, according to Richard Anthony, head of Evercore’s placement team.

“We think markets have really changed; to raise a fund today you really need to be in Asia, Australia, Europe. We’re looking to build a platform that reflects geographically where LPs are actually investing,” Anthony told PEO.

LP appetites for private equity have increased since the downturn, but investors are taking longer to make commitments, going through rigorous due diligence, Swindell said.

“If investors find opportunities they are interested in and it compliments their portfolios, they tend to have money,” he said. “From my perspective, LPs are very interested in yield-oriented products like mezzanine and distressed as well as hard and real assets like infrastructure and energy. There also continues to be strong demand for the lower mid-market where a manager can demonstrate his value-add and operational expertise to a portfolio company as opposed to just financial engineering.”

Along with private equity, Evercore also has professionals to place real estate and infrastructure funds. Infrastructure is an area that has continuously grown in popularity, especially since the downturn. Investors are more content these days with lower returns and less risk, Anthony said.