CPPIB’s Woolhouse to lead TPG secondaries push

The CPPIB secondaries head will lead TPG's secondaries investment strategy in Europe and the US.

TPG has hired the secondaries head of Canada’s largest pension fund to lead its expansion efforts.

The more than $79 billion, San Francisco-headquartered buyout shop has hired Canada Pension Plan Investment Board‘s Michael Woolhouse as partner, according to a statement. He will lead TPG’s strategy and investment activity in the US and Europe with a primary focus on secondaries, effective 3 August.

“[As] fund lives stretch longer, the ability to create liquidity alternatives has become increasingly important,” Jon Winkelried, co-chief executive of TPG, said in the statement. “Michael’s appointment and the launch of a dedicated secondaries solution mark another important step in our efforts to diversify TPG’s platform and deliver differentiated value to our investors.”

Woolhouse was at CPPIB for 13 years, according to his LinkedIn profile. He has been head of secondaries since 2015, before which he spent three years as head of co-investments. He started as senior principal in the pension’s funds team.

“TPG has developed a strong foundation in secondaries through its own GP-led deals and partnership with NewQuest in Asia. I am thrilled to formally launch TPG’s secondary business in the US and European markets and to build on the firm’s early success in the space,” said Woolhouse.

He will remain in Toronto, the statement notes.

In July 2019, CPPIB emerged as lead backer of a tender offer on the 2011-vintage, $2.04 billion TPG Growth II, Secondaries Investor reported. The year before TPG did a $1 billion stapled tender on two of its Asia funds backed by Lexington Partners, Partners GroupAdams Street Partners and HQ Capital, among others.

TPG was working with PJT Park Hill on a single-asset secondaries process centred around talent agency Creative Artists Agency when the coronavirus crisis started. As of March, Goldman Sachs Asset Management and Neuberger Berman were lined up to back the deal. The status of the deal is not clear.

A number of buyout firms have been exploring a move into secondaries during 2020. Earlier this month, Brookfield Asset Management hired Partners Group’s Fabian Neuenschwander and Marcus Day to help launch a real estate secondaries investment strategy.

Secondaries Investor reported in May that CVC Capital Partners had been in conversations with potential candidates about building a secondaries investment team.

Read our in-depth interview with CPPIB’s secondaries team.