Pleasure and pain: Lexington, Bain and BlackRock

A GOOD MONTH FOR…

Lexington Partners, which knocked Ardian off the top spot for raising the largest ever secondaries fund. The New York-headquartered firm smashed through both its $8 billion target and its $10 billion hard-cap for its eighth secondaries vehicle to close on $10.1 billion. LCP VIII received commitments from more than 300 limited partners, which are mostly public and corporate pensions and sovereign wealth funds, with the majority of capital coming from existing investors. Ardian held the crown for largest-ever secondaries vehicle for a year, having closed its $9 billion Ardian Secondary Fund VI in April 2014.

Marc Wyatt, who is taking over from Andrew Bowden as director of the US Securities and Exchange Commission’s Office of Compliance and Examinations. Wyatt, the OCIE’s deputy director, will serve as interim director until a decision is made as to whether he’ll stay permanently or whether the Commission will launch a search for a successor. Having joined the SEC in December 2012 as a specialist examiner focused on hedge fund and private equity advisers, Wyatt briefly co-chaired a private fund exam unit alongside Igor Rozenblit before taking up the OCIE deputy directorship.

Bain Capital, which cemented its place in the history books as “private equity firm most favoured by soon-to-be or former Massachusetts governors” when it hired Deval Patrick this month. Patrick was the 71st Governor of Massachusetts, having taken over from Mr. Bain Capital himself Mitt Romney in 2007. Bain is planning to build on Patrick’s use of social impact bonds in Massachusetts – one of the first states in the US to use this type of bond structure for social and economic change – as it continues to develop its social impact investing business. Maybe Romney left him a vial of Bain’s value creation secret sauce under the desk at the Statehouse…

A BAD MONTH FOR…

Global fund manager BlackRock, which had to fork out $12 million to the US Securities and Exchange Commission to settle claims that it failed to disclose a conflict of interest to investors regarding portfolio manager Daniel Rice III’s outside activities. The commission is holding chief compliance officer Bartholomew Battista as the one accountable for the violations. He and the firm were aware that Rice had founded oil and gas company Rice Energy while he was a BlackRock employee, and subsequently formed a JV with coal company Alpha Natural Resources, held by BlackRock. The firm didn’t let the BlackRock fund’s boards of directors or investors know about Rice’s involvement with ANR, which by 2011 had grown to become the largest holding in the $1.7 billion BlackRock Energy & Resources Portfolio managed by Rice.

Standard Chartered, whose head of Europe, the Middle East, Africa and the Americas is leaving, reportedly to set up his own private equity fund. Viswanathan Shankar’s departure is the latest in a wave of personnel changes at the bank. In February it announced that chief executive Peter Sands would be leaving at the end of the year and would be replaced by William Winters, former head of JPMorgan’s investment bank. Jaspal Singh Bindra, the bank’s chief executive in Asia, is also said to be stepping down from the board of directors at the end of April and will leave the bank soon after, and chairman John W. Peace is also expected to leave in 2016.

Cinven portfolio company Spire Healthcare, whose share price tanked after the private equity firm placed £136.4 million of shares with investors. The placing was priced at 340 pence, representing a substantial discount to its 367 pence closing price the night before. On the news the shares dropped to 330 pence per share, and have continued to fall, closing on 315 pence on 21st April. Cinven — which listed Spire last year at 210 pence per share, cutting its stake from almost 100 percent to 56.3 percent — still owns around 38 percent of the business, and promised not to sell any more shares for 90 days.