Hycroft poaches HSBC MD to run London team – Exclusive

Christopher Cooke will join the alternatives-focused speciality investment bank to lead its international LP advisory practice.

Speciality investment bank Hycroft, which focuses exclusively on the alternative investments market, has appointed Christopher Cooke to run its London office and spearhead its international expansion, Private Equity International has learnt.

Cooke joins from HSBC in London, where he worked with pension plans, sovereign wealth funds and funds of funds on several North American, Asian and European fundraisings, including vehicles raised by PAI Partners, Baring Private Equity Asia Real Estate and Blue Water Energy. He joined HSBC from investment bank Greenhill & Co. in 2012 to lead the bank’s new fundraising group.

At Hycroft, Cooke will head a team of five overseeing the firm’s activities in Europe, Middle East and Asia, leading its international limited partner advisory practice. He will work on the distribution of primary and secondary offerings and support the firm’s GP clients on financing and restructuring. 

It is understood that Cooke's appointment is part of a planned larger expansion of the London office over the coming months. 

New York-headquartered Hycroft was set up by Scott Myers, a founding member of secondaries broker and advisory firm Cogent Partners, which was subsequently acquired by Greenhill in 2015. Hycroft registered with the US Securities and Exchange Commission in January 2013 and officially opened in the spring of 2014.

Among the services Hycroft offers its GP clients are capital raising, financial restructuring, sourcing equity or co-investment capital for portfolio companies, team assessment and senior leadership development. On the investor side, Hycroft advises LPs on portfolio management, identification of investment managers, access to co-investments and direct investments, and secondary transactions. The firm also works on valuing partnership interests, joint ventures, and debt and equity interests in companies.

In September Hycroft hired Neil Horn as a managing director and Daniel Neczypor as a vice president in its New York office to work on originating, managing and distributing fundraising mandates.

The hires followed the departure of president and chief operating officer Loren Boston, a veteran of the private equity fundraising scene, who departed the firm in August after a two-year tenure, according to his LinkedIn profile.

Boston was a founding member of the Hycroft team, personally selected by Myers along with former Greenhill managing director Neil Banta, who has also since departed the firm according to his LinkedIn profile, and fellow Cogent alumnus Patrick Shattenkirk, as reported by PEI sister title Secondaries Investor.

“We’re starting off by assembling a team of very senior fundraising professionals, and Loren Boston is clearly a part of that,” Myers told Secondaries Investor at the time. “I went out and recruited people that I knew very well and trusted.”