Ex-3i head reaches hard-cap on debut fund – exclusive

The vehicle – which launched in 2016 – has already completed three deals and is more than halfway invested, Volpi Capital partner Crevan O’Grady tells PEI.

Volpi Capital has held a final close on its debut private equity fund at its €185 million hard-cap, Private Equity International has learned.

The London-based firm – launched in late 2015 by former 3i partner and head of TMT Crevan O’Grady and Marco Sodi, who led the European investing activities of Veronis Suhler Stevenson from 1999 until 2010 – began fundraising in the second half of 2016, O’Grady told PEI. Volpi Capital Fund I attracted approximately 40 percent of its commitments from North America and the remainder from Europe, of which around 50 percent came from the UK.

The majority of commitments were from institutional investors, including public pensions and funds of funds, Sodi noted. It received a cornerstone investment from a large US insurance company which allowed Volpi to make its first investment in June 2016, PEI reported at the time of its first close in April 2017.

“[Raising a first time fund] is never the easiest thing to do,” O’Grady said.

“We’ve been quite focused on putting together an LP base of long-term investors who like specialisation and see value in a pan-European focus rather than geographic generalists, which is unusual in our size range of deals. Doing that while building the team and doing deals is hard work.”

Fund I has already completed three deals and is more than halfway invested, O’Grady added. The vehicle, which targets businesses with enterprise values of €50 million to €200 million in the information and tech-enabled services sector, will aim to make up to three additional platform acquisitions across Northern Europe, including Germany, Benelux, the UK and Nordics, he said.

“We see assets trading at very high prices, there’s no doubt about that. What we’re trying to do is find situations where management teams have the ability to buy their own business and we’re not trying to do hundreds of deals.”

The vehicle has a standard 10-year fund life, PEI reported last year. It is understood that the GP commitment was close to the market standard of 2 percent and that Rede Partners acted as placement agent for the fundraise.