BlackRock raises $2bn and nears final close on debut programme

The world's largest asset manager expects to hold the final close on its debut secondaries fund in Q1 2021.

BlackRock is approaching the final close on its debut secondaries programme, Secondaries Investor has learned.

The New York-headquartered asset manager has raised $1.6 billion for BlackRock Secondaries & Liquidity Solutions and $400 million for co-investments, according to a source with knowledge of the fundraise. It expects to wrap up fundraising in the first quarter.

Secondaries Investor reported in April that BlackRock had held an interim close on just under $1 billion from anchor investors that included sovereign wealth funds, pension funds and family offices.

The fund launched in November last year, according to Secondaries Investor data.

Former Goldman Sachs Asset Management managing directors Steve Lessar and Konnin Tam joined BlackRock in July 2018 to lead the asset manager’s push into secondaries.

Veena Isaac, a former partner with multifamily office Jasper Ridge Partners, and Goldman Sachs alumni Jarid Colucci and Derek Krouner are among the other senior members of the investment team, Secondaries Investor has reported. All are based in the investment manager’s New York head office.

BlackRock’s secondaries fund invests in a mix of LP portfolios and complex deals, across strategies and on a global basis. Among the deals it has backed are the restructuring of Thomas H Lee Partners’ crisis era fund last year.

In April, Lessar said in a statement that the secondaries market for co-investment stakes represented a good opportunity, saying that if any of them are seeking liquidity, “we are likely a good buyer”.

Secondaries funds that held final closes during the first three quarters of the year raised $59.7 billion, exceeding all full-year tallies on record, according to Secondaries Investor data.

BlackRock did not wish to comment.