Perella Weinberg launches private equity arm

The financial services firm is targeting $400m for its debut private equity fund and has already completed two investments.

Financial services firm Perella Weinberg Partners has hired former Weston Presidio partners David Ferguson and Chip Baird to lead a new private equity division under the name PWP Growth Equity. 

The New York-based group is targeting $400 million for its debut private equity fund, according to a source familiar with the situation. Prior to joining Weston Presidio, Ferguson was a partner at JPMorgan Partners and its predecessor organisations Chase Capital Partners and Chemical Venture Partners. Baird was previously an investment professional at private equity firm The Beacon Group, prior to which he worked in the investment banking division at Merrill Lynch.

PWP Growth Equity will invest primarily in lower mid-market companies in the consumer, services and industrials sectors. The group has completed two private equity investments to date, investing a reported $18 million in women’s apparel company Fashion To Figure last month and an undisclosed amount in safety equipment maker Trench Plate in August. Capital for the two investments came from PWP founding investors, according to a source with knowledge of the situation.

Perella Weinberg declined to comment. The firm’s private equity division represents Perella Weinberg’s eighth investment strategy.

Ferguson and Baird’s official departure from Weston Presidio comes as the firm fundraises for its sixth fund, according to documents filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission and a source with knowledge of the situation. The lower mid-market firm canceled fundraising on Fund VI in 2008 because of an unfavorable deal environment, chief operating officer Therese Mrozek told Dow Jones at the time, but registered Weston Presidio VI with the SEC last month.