Ardian almost doubled its secondaries investment volume last year as its US fund of funds team celebrated its biggest year ever.
The Paris-headquartered firm invested $11.1 billion across 25 secondaries transactions in 2018, according to its Activity Report 2018. The prior year Ardian invested $6.4 billion across 14 deals.
The US fund of funds team completed $9 billion worth of deals, including five secondaries deals worth more than $1 billion each. This included the largest-ever infrastructure secondaries deal with a Canadian insurer, understood to be the Manulife Financial transaction. The deal, which Campbell Lutyens advised on, resulted in the creation of a $2 billion fund and marked the entry of Manulife’s infrastructure investment team into the world of third-party asset management.
Deals Ardian completed in North America last year include Florida State Board of Administration‘s $1.3 billion portfolio in July, American International Group‘s $2.3 billion sale in August in which PineBridge Investments also acquired part of the portfolio, and Maryland State Retirement and Pension System‘s roughly $1 billion portfolio in November.
In Asia, Ardian has deployed more than $3 billion through its fund of funds platform to date into more than 100 investments across primary commitments and secondaries deals, the report noted.
Ardian raised $28 billion last year – a 250 percent increase on the $8 billion raised in 2017. It distributed $12.7 billion to investors, compared with $10 billion the prior year.
The firm is eyeing the largest pot of capital ever raised for secondaries: $18 billion for its ASF VIII programme, which is understood to include $6 billion of co-investment pockets, as Secondaries Investor reported in May.
Ardian’s assets under management rose 34 percent to $90 billion, up from $67 billion in 2017.