Ipreo acquires GP analytics group iLEVEL

Blackstone and Goldman Sachs Merchant Banking-owned portfolio company team up to acquire private capital data provider to tap into the need for greater reporting transparency  

Ipreo, a portfolio company of Blackstone and Goldman Sachs Merchant Banking, has acquired private capital data analytics company iLEVEL, according to a statement.

iLEVEL shareholders Hamilton Lane and Duff & Phelps rolled over their ownership interests in the New York company into Ipreo, a New York-based provider of capital markets data. Additional financial terms were not released.

Kevin Marcus, president and COO of Ipreo, said the acquisition will assist with data alignment for general partners and limited partners at a time when there is “a need for greater transparency in the alternative assets space. Trillions of dollars of private equity investments have been made, but the technology has not kept pace.”

Marcus said both private equity firms and LPs alike are interested in transparency. “What we're trying to do is make it easy and seamless for the information to flow in all directions, and the GPs can take that information and fulfill an LP's request.”

Fees levied by GPs on LPs and portfolio companies, including the profits paid back to GPs, have garnered increased scrutiny in recent months as LPs have demanded more transparency into the disclosure practices of GPs.  

Last week, a group of 13 pension officials filed a letter to the SEC, requesting that GPs be more forthcoming about the fees and expenses that are charged to LPs and portfolio companies.

This followed CalSTRS admission this month that it had not been recording and disclosing payments it made to fund managers since 1988, when it first invested in private equity. 

ILEVEL CEO Kevin Black said the merger will deliver long-term benefits to iLEVEL and enable Ipreo's private market clients to manage diverse tasks through a single integrated platform. He will oversee Ipreo's newly formed private capital markets division as a result of the acquisition. “Now, there are even more increasing demands from LPs, so it's all about providing greater transparency.”

Black said iLEVEL was established to help GPs get more control over the large amount of data that they collect about their portfolio companies and report to LPs on a quarterly basis, including financial statements and tracking of cash flows that occur between capital calls and distribution notices. The company's customers include Berkshire Partners, Carlyle Group, Cerberus, Cinven, First Reserve, Sterling Partners and Tailwind Capital, according to its website.

“iLEVEL has been at the forefront of linking GPs and LPs through greater communication, improved connectivity and enhanced data transparency,” said Erik Hirsch, CIO of Hamilton Lane and a board member at iLEVEL. “We view this strategic alliance as the next positive step in furthering those initiatives,” he said.

Blackstone senior managing director Martin Brand sits on Ipreo's board along with Goldman Sachs managing director Sumit Rajpal. Blackstone and Goldman Sachs Merchant Banking each own more than 40% of the equity in Ipreo.