Change at top of Montana as founding partner steps aside

The departure of Christian Diller comes a year after the Baar-headquartered secondaries buyer was acquired by asset manager PGIM.

One of the founding partners of Montana Capital Partners, which was acquired last year by asset manager PGIM, is to depart the firm.

Christian Diller will leave at the end of this year, more than 11 years after he and fellow Capital Dynamics alum Marco Wulff founded the Baar-headquartered secondaries buyer, Wulff confirmed.

Wulff will take up the position of chief executive officer, with partners Eduard Lemle and Christoph Jäckel moving to managing partner.

Diller’s next move is likely to be away from the institutional space into a more entrepreneurial role, according to two sources familiar with the matter. Diller did not wish to comment.

Montana was acquired by the asset management arm of Prudential Financial in July 2021, remaining independent while benefitting from PGIM’s “global distribution, sourcing and operational, compliance and regulatory support”, Secondaries Investor reported.

The firm is currently investing its €1.3 billion mcp Opportunity Secondary Program V, which held a final close in January 2021. Wulff was not in the position to discuss fundraising plans but noted that the more volatile market has presented opportunities for the firm.

“We are seeing a lot of dealflow and people are more willing to discuss discounts, pricing and structures, which is a bit different to the last two years,” he said. “The one thing we have to look out for is risk and that we have a risk buffer because of the increased market uncertainty. And finally you have [to deal with] the time lag in valuations, because PE valuations are still high and public markets are down.”

Montana is working to develop repeatable investment processes that are less reliant on individual decision-making, Wulff said. Its funds typically invest half in LP-led deals and half in GP-led, with a preference for deals sourced directly from LPs and GPs.

“Especially in the current environment, this approach works well as auctions are slower because of the situation in the public markets. We are talking to people who have an issue, need a liquidity solution and try to find it in one-to-one situations,” Wulff said.