Ardian almost doubles annual secondaries deployment

The secondaries giant invested $11bn in the strategy last year, up from $6.4bn the prior year, according to its latest annual report.

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.