AXA hires ex-Northleaf exec to lead PE secondaries business

The €34bn IM Prime unit has been building up its secondaries capabilities across infrastructure and private equity.

AXA Investment Managers Prime, the private markets unit of the European insurance group that launched last year, has hired a former Northleaf Capital Partners investment professional to lead its private equity secondaries business.

Matthieu Ducharme

Matthieu Ducharme starts with immediate effect and will be London-based, a spokesperson for AXA confirmed to Secondaries Investor. He will report to Peter Ischebeck, AXA IM Prime’s head of private equity.

Secondaries Investor reported in February that Ducharme was leaving the Canadian private markets firm. Ducharme had participated in all aspects of Northleaf’s private equity investment activities, with a focus on the origination, evaluation and monitoring of secondaries investments, according to the firm’s website. At Northleaf, he helped expand its primary and co-investment activities in Europe, helped deploy more than $2 billion across 80 investments and chaired its private equity ESG committee, according to details shared with Secondaries Investor.

He joined Northleaf in 2013 from intermediary PEFOX where he was a partner, and prior to that worked in Pantheon’s secondaries team.

At AXA IM Prime, Ducharme will be responsible for all aspects of its private equity secondaries strategy and will oversee the sourcing and execution of transactions, as well as the development of secondaries products, according to the details shared.

AXA IM Prime has been building up its private markets capabilities over the past year, including offerings for GP stakes, NAV lending and secondaries. It was created last year to diversify AXA IM’s product offering within private assets and covers PE, private debt, infrastructure and hedge funds.

This week, affiliate title Infrastructure Investor reported that AXA IM joined with Ardian as lead buyers on DWS’s strip sale of infrastructure portfolio company stakes into a continuation fund.