Secondaries special: Five new entrants shake up the SI 30

This year’s SI 30 welcomes a fresh spin-out, a direct secondaries player and niche specialists.

Last week we published our latest SI 30 ranking of the biggest secondaries fundraisers over the last five years, with Ardian clinching the top position for the third year in a row. Five firms made their debut appearance in the list; we introduce them to you below.

A spin-off on the move

Glendower Capital has quickly made a name for itself since spinning out of Deutsche Bank a little more than a year ago, reaching 25th position in this year’s SI 30.

The firm raised $3 billion over the last five years, including capital raised as part of Deutsche. Glendower’s future in the ranking is promising as it is currently raising its fourth – and first independent – fund, Glendower Capital Secondary Opportunities Fund IV, which is targeting $1.8 billion. It held a first close on $1.3 billion in May and is expected to reach its $2.5 billion hard-cap in the fourth quarter, according to sister publication Secondaries Investor.

The London-based firm, which declined to comment on fundraising, focuses on mid-market secondaries transactions with a barbell approach between LP fund stakes and GP-led transactions. It has recently backed the acquisition of a portfolio of mature direct stakes managed by Bridgepoint, led a consortium of secondaries buyers to restructure assets managed by Atlanta-based Argonne Capital and was the sole lead on the fund recap of UK firm BlueGem Capital.

“We are excited about the progress we have made since the spin-off and subsequent build out of Glendower Capital. Driven by increased focus, energy and operational speed in 12 months Glendower has successfully grown to a full-strength team of 20 investment professionals and invested across a range of attractively priced transactions globally,” says Carlo Pirzio-Biroli, Glendower’s managing partner and chief executive.

Montana Capital Partners

The Swiss firm, founded by former Capital Dynamics executives Christian Diller and Marco Wulff, is known for its niche and complex deals in the smaller end of the market. Its latest fund, mcp Opportunity Secondary Program IV, closed in April on €800 million after just five months and is double the size of its predecessor. In recent years Montana has backed some innovative deals, such as the management buyout of Italian bank Banca Popolare di Vicenza’s private equity business Nem.

SL Capital Partners

SL Capital Partners closed its latest fund, SL Capital Secondary Opportunities Fund III, on more than $400 million nearly a year ago. It focuses on niche strategies, including buying stakes in funds of funds and in other secondaries funds.

Edinburgh-based SL Capital is part of Standard Life Investments, which merged with Aberdeen Asset Management last summer. The new combined secondaries team is led by Patrick Knechtli, who was previously secondaries head at SL Capital.

W Capital

Nearly five years after raising $750 million for its third vehicle, direct secondaries specialist W Capital Partners is back in market with its latest fund. It is targeting the same amount for W Capital Partners IV.

The New York-based firm, which was founded in 2001 by David Wachter, Robert Migliorino and Stephen Wertheimer, manages $1.58 billion in assets. W Capital buys direct stakes in companies with an average ticket size of $20 million to $100 million.

HQ Capital

HQ Capital made its entry in the SI 30 this year, jumping 19 spots to 28th. It was formed in 2015 from the combination of Auda, Real Estate Capital Partners and Equita.

The New York-based firm has been busy on the fundraising trail this year, closing its fourth flagship fund, Auda Secondary Fund IV, on $503 million. It also hit Auda Asia Secondary Fund’s $250 million hard-cap. The Harald Quandt family of Germany remains an anchor investor.