Cogent opens San Francisco office

Recently promoted director Andy Nick will lead the private equity investment bank’s West Coast office.

Cogent Partners has opened a San Francisco office to build its client relationships in the Western US and Canada.

Cogent director Andy Nick has relocated from Dallas to lead the private equity-focused investment bank’s California office. The firm already works with many institutions located on the West Coast.

“[W]e look forward to working closely with the GP community in the region to help generate liquidity from existing portfolios through the growing secondary direct market,” Nick said in a statement.

Nick was promoted from vice principal to director in December, along with fellow directors Scott Beckelman in New York and Briac Houtteville in London. Nick joined Cogent in 2008 from Citigroup, where worked in the investment banking division.

Cogent now has five offices, including its Shanghai location, led by managing partner Stephen Sloan.

Global secondary transaction volume for 2012 is expected to reach around $25 billion, roughly the same amount recorded in 2011. In recent years, a diverse group of non-traditional secondary buyers has entered the secondaries market to compete for deals with secondary funds, including advisory firms, public pensions and large sovereign wealth funds.

Cogent has acted as a broker for a number of large secondary transactions recently, including acting as financial advisor for Behrman Capital’s restructuring of its $1.2 billion third fund and the State of Wisconsin Investment Board’s sale of a $720 million portfolio of stakes in funds run by The Blackstone Group, The Carlyle Group, Charterhouse Capital Partners and Kohlberg Kravis Roberts.

Cogent was unavailable for comment at press time.