NY State becomes Access’ largest client

The New York State Common Retirement Fund has appointed Paris-based Access Capital Partners to invest €250m in European mid-market buyout funds over three to four years.

Paris-headquartered private equity fund investor Access Capital Partners, in what constitutes a significant boost to its asset base, has won a mandate to run a €250 million separate account on behalf of New York State Common Retirement Fund

Access is to invest the money over the next three to four years. According to Philippe Poggioli, one of the firm’s three partners, Access will back approximately 15 European mid-market buyout funds with New York’s capital. 

Poggioli said Access had been selected, following a search run by New York, because of its expertise in, and exclusive buyout investment focus on, Europe’s mid-market groups.

Philippe Poggioli, partner Access Capital Partners 

Access invests in funds that are between €100 million and €1 billion in size and hence does not back funds that invest in very large buyouts. To date, the firm has put money into 27 funds with an average size of €300 million, Poggioli said. 

Access has currently around 40 clients across commingled funds of funds and separate accounts. According to Poggioli, over 80 percent of its clients are based outside France.

New York, which has approximately $120 billion in assets and a multi-billion dollar international private equity programme, is now the firm’s largest investor. Its commitment takes Access’ total assets to €920 million. In the large LBO space in Europe, the fund has active relationships with Apax Partners, CVC Capital Partners and Charterhouse Development Capital. It is also an investor in funds advised by large European midmarket investor Bridgepoint.   

In March, Access launched its third fund of funds product, hoping to raise €250 million for new European buyout investments and €100 million to go into European venture partnerships. 

The firm has three partners and a current total of 18 staff. It was set up in 1999.