Commonfund to launch dedicated secondaries fund

The Connecticut-based fund of funds manager has historically invested in secondaries through mixed fund of funds focused on private equity, venture capital and natural resources.

Fund of funds manager Commonfund Capital is preparing to launch its first dedicated secondaries fund, according to two sources familiar with the matter.

Commonfund declined to comment.

The fund launch would come about a year after the firm hired Cari Lodge as a managing director to oversee its secondaries investments. Lodge joined in January from the investment management office at Tulane University. She also spent 12 years as a director in Credit Suisse Strategic Partners’ secondaries programme.

Cari Lodge of Commonfund
Cari Lodge

“Cari has added material value to our efforts in the secondaries market, which have and will continue to be an important area in our investment business,” Commonfund Capital president Don Pascal had previously said.

Commonfund has historically invested in secondaries through its private equity, venture capital and natural resources fund of funds programmes.

The firm is currently in market with its Commonfund Capital Venture Partners XI. The fund of funds launched earlier this year with a $500 million target, according to PEI’s Research and Analytics division.

The latest natural resources fund raised $507 million in 2012, PEI data revealed. Commonfund Natural Resources IX was generating a net internal rate of return of -54.04 percent and a multiple of invested capital of 0.79x as of 31 March 2013, according to documents from the Old Dominion University Educational Foundation, a long-time Commonfund investor.

Other Commonfund LPs include non-profit institutions, pension plans and family offices such as the Catholic Community Foundation and the Public Welfare Foundation, according to PEI data.

Commonfund Capital is a division of Wilton, Connecticut-based investment manager Commonfund. Pascal and chief executive officer Susan Carter lead the division, according to the firm’s website.

Olivia Atkins contributed to this report.