Aberdeen shops portfolio in sign of LP market return

LP portfolio sales fell to account for around half of total deal volume last year as GP-led processes surged.

Aberdeen Standard Investments, the UK’s largest fund manager by assets under management, has brought a portfolio of fund stakes to market in a sign that LP trades are rousing from a period of relative quiet.

The Edinburgh-headquartered manager is shopping a bundle of private market fund interests worth around €400 million, according to three sources familiar with the matter. The stakes are held in a fund of funds or multiple fund of funds vehicles, according to two of the sources.

Paris-headquartered Triago has been mandated to advise on the sale, the sources said.

Aberdeen Standard manages more than 100 private equity vehicles, including many separately managed accounts and customised funds of funds mandates. The firm’s fund of funds programmes include its FLAG private equity series and US private equity series, according to PEI data.

It is unclear which fund of funds vehicles the stakes are held in and separate spokespeople for Aberdeen and Triago declined to comment.

In January last year, the firm carried out eight GP-led processes on several vehicles simultaneously in an effort to drive pricing for exiting investors, as Secondaries Investor reported. Those processes, which were managed by Campbell Lutyens, contained an aggregate net asset value of €750 million.

The manager’s secondaries team is seeking $500 million for its fourth dedicated secondaries fund, Aberdeen Standard Secondary Opportunities Fund IVSecondaries Investor data show.

Triago is also understood to be advising on a mandate for a US endowment worth around $700 million, according to two of the sources.

LP portfolio sales fell to account for 56 percent of total deal volume last year from 70 percent a year prior, as the market for GP-led processes expanded, according to data from Greenhill. Such sales still account for the bulk of the secondaries market, according to Secondaries Investor calculations based on aggregate data from advisory firms.

Some boutique advisors have been attempting to capitalise on the shift away from LP portfolios to more lucrative GP-led processes.

“As more groups move to the GP side, a lot of whitespace is being created,” the head of private markets at a European intermediary told Secondaries Investor. “At the same time volumes have been low on the LP side, we have done a lot since launching but other groups are struggling to close deals given the valuations.

“Conversely, on the GP[-led] side, there is a lot of buyer fatigue as to why certain processes are being run. So long term, I think that the order of things will probably adjust again.”