Meet Deutsche’s new global head of secondaries

Five things you need to know about the former Credit Suisse executive who is leading Deutsche Asset Management's re-entry into secondaries.

Mark McDonald is a man full of surprises.

The newly appointed global secondaries head at Deutsche Asset Management joined in November to rebuild the firm’s secondaries team following the unit’s spin-out that formed Glendower Capital in August.

The move was unexpected: McDonald had taken over as global head of secondaries at Credit Suisse’s private fund group in January, and advisory-side to buy-side jumps in the secondaries world are few and far between. In fact, McDonald is returning to the buy-side, having spent more than eight years at London-based Keyhaven Capital Partners and Pomona Capital.

Then again, surprises are part and parcel for the secondaries veteran: participating in triathlons is one of McDonald’s hobbies and he counts ambient techno musician Aphex Twin as his favourite artist.

Here are five things to know about McDonald’s plans for Deutsche AM’s re-entry into secondaries.

  • McDonald has a team of 10 and will build on this in the new year. The plan is to leverage the multi-disciplinary skillsets and relationships of the team in direct, fund and secondaries private equity investing as well as legal, advisory, investor relations and operations. The unit’s thesis is to access attractive assets in unique ways, acting more as a partner in providing solutions as opposed to a more “traditional” secondaries investor.
  • While he was not able to comment on future fundraising, his team has a mandate to serve the private equity needs of its investors in a fiduciary manner and is considering various options and formats.
  • McDonald was attracted to the opportunity to build a business from the ground up. “As I look at how the [secondaries] market is developing – and will continue to develop over the coming years – I believe this is a powerful combination to do something that can deliver strong returns through a truly differentiated strategy,” he says.
  • He plans to develop Deutsche AM’s teams in the US and Asia-Pacific and will continue to partner with Glendower. Deutsche AM remains the regulated manager for the private equity secondary opportunities funds and has “ultimate regulatory responsibility for portfolio management, risk management and investor relations”, while Glendower remains the advisor to these assets.
  • He’s a father of three, lives in London and loves adventures and travelling.