Helix becomes part of US investment bank

Helix Associates, one of Europe’s leading independent private equity fund placement specialists, has been acquired by Jefferies.

Jefferies, the New York-based investment bank specialising in mid-market corporate corporate finance, has agreed to acquire Helix Associates, one of Europe’s most successful independently owned private equity fund placement groups.
Terms of the deal, which was announced today, have not been disclosed, although Jefferies said in a statement that it would fund the acquisition using a mix of cash and shares. 

The ability to continue to work in the Helix way is obviously important to us.

Lord Cecil, managing director, Helix Associates

Helix, whose client base includes Bridgepoint Capital, Exponent Private Equity and Altor Private Equity, has a total of 17 employees, including five executive directors and another seven investment professionals.

Helix was set up in 1993. Since 1998, funds the firm has worked with have raised approximately $17.5 billion, according to the press statement.

Key figures at the firm are Lord Charles Cecil, Ian Simpson, John Barber, Mark Cunningham and Mark Hallock, who joined the firm last year from CSFB Private Equity.

Commenting on the implications of Helix giving up its status as an independently owned entity, Lord Cecil said in an interview: “The ability to continue to work in the Helix way is obviously important to us. We believe that what we have built is a platform for growth, and the reality is that with the right partner you can move just that much faster. Jefferies has a track record of acquiring boutiques and enabling them to grow.”

Acquisitions of previously independent entities Jefferies has completed in the recent past are Randall & Dewey in February 2004,  Broadview International (December 2003) and Quarterdeck Investment Partners (December 2002).
Becoming a division of Jefferies is intended to enable Helix to grow its presence in North America. ’We’re very pleased to join the thriving Jefferies franchise as we look to extend significantly our network of relationships around the world,’ Cecil was quoted as saying in the press release. ’With Jefferies’ ability to introduce us to a broader array of middle market fund sponsors and managers, we will specifically look to capitalise on the significant growth potential for us in the US.’

Jefferies’ newly acquired fund placement operation will continue to  trade under the Helix name. Cecil confirmed that a joint marketing agreement with US fund placement boutique Monument Group was still in place, saying there were currently “three interesting mandates” that the two partners were currently working on. 

Jefferies, which has over 25 offices around the world, specialises in mid-market financial advisory and capital markets services, institutional brokerage, securities research and asset management.