Side Letter: Triago’s ex-Eaton reunion; Oak Hill’s $4bn target; JPAM’s second chance

Triago's new chief executive has tapped his former employer to find the head of its new West Coast office. Plus: mid-market firm Oak Hill is seeking more than $4 billion for its latest flagship and JPMorgan Asset Management wants a second chance at secondaries. Here's today's brief, for our valued subscribers only.

Just happened

Triago’s reunion
Triago has once again tapped Eaton Partners as it staffs up in a just launched West Coast office. The GP advisory has appointed Pete Purcell, a former managing director at Eaton, as partner and head of its San Diego operations, chief executive Matt Swain tells Side Letter. Swain and Purcell were previously colleagues at Eaton before the former left for Triago in 2019. They are joined at Triago’s New York office by fellow Eaton alumni Andrew Rosato, who left his position as an Eaton director for MVision in 2019 before moving to Triago the following year, and George Hermann, who spent four years at Eaton before joining Evercore in 2021 and Triago this year.

“The band is getting back together to play, we hope, for a long time,” Swain said. “This is a story of a few individuals who worked really, really well together for an extended period of time… it’s kind of like just pressing play, in a way.”

Triago’s westwards expansion was first reported by Private Equity International back in April. The firm, which also has offices in London, Paris and Dubai, already has plans for another US opening within the next two years. Southeastern US is a likely destination as private equity professionals and the wider financial ecosystem increasingly trade the western and east coasts for Miami, Florida. Triago hopes to establish itself as a market leader in the lower and mid-markets. “We’ll do that organically through growth with feet,” Swain noted. “Or, if we have to, we’ll even go inorganic.”

Oak Hill’s target
US mid-market firm Oak Hill Capital is seeking $4.25 billion for its sixth flagship fund, Side Letter understands. The New York-based shop has so far raised $2.65 billion and set a $5 billion hard-cap, per a source with knowledge of the process. Oak Hill declined to comment. The firm collected $3.9 billion for Fund V against a $3 billion target in 2020 with commitments from CPP InvestmentsMinnesota State Board of Investment and Taiwan Life Insurance, according to PEI data.

They did the math

Sovereign appetites
As US public pensions bump up against their PE allocation limits, sovereign wealth funds appear hungry for more. That is according to Invesco’s latest Global Sovereign Asset Management Studywhich found that PE is the most popular asset class among these institutions, with a net 29 percent planning to increase their exposure, followed by unlisted real estate at 23 percent. PE also had the largest year-on-year uptick in popularity (20 percentage points) versus an 11-percentage point decline for infrastructure. Private assets now constitute, on average, 22 percent of sovereign portfolios – the highest proportion on record. Invesco gathered responses from 131 CIOs and asset class heads at 81 sovereign funds from January to March.


JPM’s second chance
In 2016, JPMorgan Asset Management raised more than $1 billion for its third secondaries fund and then retreated from the market. Now, it appears to be coming back to see what it’s been missing. The asset manager, which has $170 billion in alternatives AUM, has hired Tim Henn to work on secondaries investments, our colleagues at Secondaries Investor report (registration required). Henn joins from Portfolio Advisors, where he spent eight years and was a key player in the formation of its credit secondaries platform. JPMorgan will initially focus on buyout and VC secondaries, with a mandate to back LP and sponsor-led deals.

The market for secondaries buy-side talent was red hot last year, with firms such as MacquarieApollo Global Management and Brookfield Asset Management forming investment teams and others such as CVC Capital Partners and Ares Management buying whole businesses. That activity seems to have cooled a little in 2022 as wider uncertainty around valuations interrupts dealmaking. “People don’t want to pay top dollar for talent when the market is so quiet,” says one secondaries principal. “The phone was ringing off the hook last year, but not now.”

Tenzing’s lofty return
It might seem like an inopportune time to be exiting a tech business, but good returns are still to be found. Case in point: European tech firm Tenzing, which this month exited software provider CitNOW to Livingbridge at a 9.6x return, per a Tuesday statement. Tenzing backed CitNOW in 2018 and completed its exit on 15 July, Side Letter understands. That the firm was able to notch up such a lofty multiple in this environment is particularly impressive: not only have tech multiples come down thanks to a rout in their public market references, the volatility in pricing has also made it harder for buyers and sellers to agree on a price. Tenzing’s peers will no doubt take some comfort from its success.

Today’s letter was prepared by Alex Lynn with Rod JamesCarmela Mendoza and Madeleine Farman