BlackRock eyes market dislocation opportunities with $3bn close

BlackRock Secondaries & Liquidity Solutions has completed over 15 transactions including single and multi-fund portfolios, GP-led restructurings and other complex deals.

BlackRock, the world’s biggest asset manager, has amassed more than $3 billion for its inaugural secondaries fund and wants to capitalise on market dislocation opportunities, among others.

Capital raised for the firm’s secondaries and liquidity solutions strategy includes $2.4 billion for its Secondaries & Liquidity Solutions Fund as well as additional secondaries capital, according to a statement.

The fund, which had a $1.5 billion initial target, seeks to “take advantage of an evolving secondaries market that is well-positioned to capitalise on various forms of market dislocation”, according to the statement. It will also focus on structural growth drivers around the maturing global private equity market.

Secondaries Investor reported in December that the firm had raised $1.6 billion for the vehicle and a further $400 million for co-investments.

More than 70 institutional investors including new and existing investors of BlackRock Private Equity Partners as well as BlackRock Alternative Investors backed the fundraise, according to the statement.

Capital raised for the SLS fund will invest in mid-sized secondaries transactions, “both traditional and non-traditional secondaries, including single and multi-fund portfolios, manager-led restructurings, and other opportunistic investments”.

SLS has completed more than 15 transactions across various secondaries deal types and has deployed a significant amount of capital at the beginning of the pandemic last year, the firm said in the statement. Among the deals it has backed are the restructuring of Thomas H Lee Partners’ crisis era fund in mid-2019.

The New York-headquartered firm’s dedicated secondaries team was formed with the appointment of Steve Lessar and Konnin Tam, former Goldman Sachs Asset Management managing directors, as co-heads of SLS in 2018. Veena Isaac, an ex-partner at multifamily office and asset manager Jasper Ridge Partners, joined as managing director in 2019.

Secondaries funds that held final closes last year raised $95.6 billion, exceeding all previous full-year totals, Secondaries Investor data show.