Grosvenor eyes Credit Suisse's PE fund of funds

The Hellman & Friedman-backed hedge fund manager is in discussions to acquire Credit Suisse's $28bn 'Customized Fund Investment Group', which would give Grosvenor its first private equity foothold.

Grosvenor Capital Management is in talks to acquire Credit Suisse’s 'Customized Fund Investment Group', its private equity fund of funds group, according to four market sources. 

A hedge fund investment and advisory firm, Grosvenor does not have any private equity operations but has been thinking about expanding into the asset class, one person with knowledge of the firm told Private Equity International.

Grosvenor, which has more than $20 billion under management, is partly owned by Hellman & Friedman. 

One source characterised the talks as “not advanced” but ongoing. Other sources said Grosvenor and Credit Suisse have been engaged in talks for “a couple months”. It was not clear at press time if Credit Suisse was talking with other potential buyers. 

Credit Suisse, Grosvenor and Hellman & Friedman declined to comment. 

CFIG is led by Kelly Williams and manages about $28 billion in commitments to private equity fund of funds and co-investment programmes in the US and internationally. CFIG also works in the emerging manager space, overseeing about $6 billion in commitments to mandates for institutional investors like the North Carolina Retirement System and the Teacher Retirement System of Texas.

Credis Suisse announced last year it was selling CFIG and its $9 billion private equity secondaries group, Strategic Partners, to get in line with regulations limiting the ability of financial institutions to run private equity operations. The Blackstone Group acquired Strategic Partners, which is headed by Stephen Can, earlier this year.  

Grosvenor was founded in 1971 and employs more than 200 people in Chicago, London and Tokyo.