AXA PE promotes US secondary specialist

In recognition of his significant role in some of AXA PE’s biggest transactions, head of the New York office Benoit Verbrugghe has been given a place on the firm’s executive board.

Benoit Verbrugghe, head of AXA Private Equity’s New York office, has been promoted to the firm’s executive board after playing a “key role” in bolstering the team’s profile on the secondary market in the past few years.

Verbrugghe will remain head of AXA PE’s New York office, according to a statement from the firm.

“This is only the beginning. We’ll continue to develop the company and attract new clients with good products,” Verbrugghe told Private Equity International in an interview Friday.

Verbrugghe will work on the executive board alongside the firm’s chief executive officer Dominique Senequier, Dominique Gaillard, managing director of direct funds, managing director of fund of funds Vincent Gombault and managing director Stephan Illenberger.

“We look forward to bringing Benoit’s insight and experience to the executive board. His elevation is also recognition of his significant contribution to the development of the firm’s deal making and fundraising capabilities. Benoit has led the development of the secondaries business across North America,” Senequier said in the statement.

Verbrugghe played a “key role” in some of the firm’s significant transactions in the past few years alongside Senequier and Gombault, the firm said in the statement, including its recently closed fundraising that brought in $7.1 billion for its fifth secondary fund, and $900 million for a sidecar vehicle.

Also, AXA PE proved itself a major secondary player with two major deals over the past few years – its acquisition of a $1.9 billion private equity portfolio from Bank of America, and its transaction to buy a $1.7 billion portfolio of limited partner interests in private equity buyout funds and direct stakes from Citi. Verbrugghe was quick to point out during the interview Friday that the completed deals were the result of work by the global team.

Verbrugghe also traveled extensively throughout the US as part of the firm’s fundraising efforts, though again he stressed the successful marketing campaign was the result of hard work by the global team.

Verbrugghe has been with AXA PE for 13 years, prior to which he worked at a mergers and acquisitions consulting firm.