Nova eyes US zombies, legacy assets

David Jacobs, Deutsche Bank's former global consumer group head, will be responsible for sourcing acquisitions of private equity and corporate portfolios in North America.

Nova Capital Management has opened its first US office in Chicago to be led by former Morgan Stanley and Deutsche Bank executive David Jacobs.

Founded in 2002, Nova also has offices in London and Toronto and manages a portfolio worth approximately $1.5 billion. 

Nova specialises in the acquisition of portfolios from private equity managers, investors and corporate owners. Last year, it completed its first US deal when it acquired five industrial subsidiaries of Latshaw Enterprises in a single transaction. 

“There’s substantial opportunity in the market, particularly in North America. On the private equity side, the opportunity is in legacy funds,” Jacobs told Private Equity International. “End of life funds, funds that are not going to doing another fundraise. That’s another significant opportunity.”

Before joining Nova, Jacobs was a founder of Orbin & Company, a principal investment and advisory firm that advised Molson Coors’ merger with SABMiller. He previously was at Deutsche Bank, where he headed the bank’s global consumer, retail and business services group. He'd joined Deutsche Bank in 2001 from Morgan Stanley, where he'd spent 10 years and was also head of the firm's global consumer group.

Jacobs’ first role at Nova will be sourcing new North American deals, and then hire additional staff to oversee those investments. 

“The first thing is portfolio origination; we’ve got one under our belt already in the states and we’re already looking for another one,” Jacobs says. 

The expected consolidation of private equity firms and teams over the next few years will also present opportunities for end-of-life and legacy portfolios, he added.