Triago names global chief executive ahead of West Coast push

Matt Swain, who was most recently co-head of Americas, will have oversight of capital raising, secondaries and strategic advisory.

Private equity adviser Triago has appointed co-head of Americas Matt Swain as its global chief executive.

Matt Swain, Triago
Swain: near-term priorities include a West Coast presence for the firm and investing more in primary directs

In the newly established role, Swain, 27, will head a team of 42 across New York, London, Paris and Dubai. He will lead the firm’s operations in capital raising, secondaries transactions and strategic advisory, according to a statement.

In three years at Triago, Swain built from scratch what is today the group’s fastest growing business, raising capital for primary directs, which is essentially funding single-asset partnerships between GPs and LPs, the statement noted. Swain joined the firm in 2019 as an associate, rising to partner and promoted to managing partner and co-head of Americas last September. He was an associate at Eaton Partners for more than two years before joining Triago.

Swain reports to the firm’s founder and executive chairman Antoine Dréan. Victor Quiroga, formerly co-head of the Americas, is now sole head.

“Our dream is to take over the lower mid-market space and be the number one player. There are a number of players in our space that either have been unsophisticated or done the job sub-scale,” Swain told PEI.

He added that a near-term priority for the firm is to have a West Coast presence to tap more venture capital and lower mid-market opportunities.

“The Americas business is growing fairly rapidly, and we will continue to re-invest in that,” he said.

Triago’s annual revenues rose 115 percent in 2021, with all businesses and geographies contributing, according to the statement. The Americas had the fastest growth over the past 16 months, where revenues rose 300 percent in 2021. Its fastest growing sector in 2021 was direct single-deal advisory and co-investments.

Swain noted that the firm’s primary directs have been a growth point for the firm and part of its thesis of LPs and investors wanting to get closer to assets.

“This is a way for LPs to pick and choose where they can have exposure,” he said. “We’ve also seen the increasing sophistication of LPs and expect to see them move away from blind pool funds to some degree and more into single-asset type directs.”

On the strategic advisory side, the firm is prioritising turning management company stakes into currency to help GPs accelerate their growth, according to Swain.

“We want to be able to step in at any point within the GP’s life cycle – whether it’s their first direct deal, Fund I or a Fund X where they’re also looking to transition some of their management partners – and help in the evolution of their business,” Swain said.

In this area of the business, Triago helps lower mid-market GPs bring in strategic investors for their blind pool funds, directs or secondaries, as well as into their management company, he said. New capital, whether equity or debt, allows for leadership transition or expansion into new lines of business.

Triago has completed over 180 fundraisings, advised on more than 3,500 private equity fund stakes on the secondaries market and undertaken more than 50 strategic advisory mandates since its founding in 1992, according to the statement.