Duff & Phelps continues rebuild of secondaries unit

The firm anticipates that expansion into real estate, credit and infra secondaries will come alongside additional hires.

Duff & Phelps has made its third hire in a year, with more on the way, as it continues to rebuild and expand its secondaries advisory unit after four senior members left last year.

Elihu Reynolds joins the valuations specialist as a vice-president in the New York office, according to a spokesman for the firm. Reynolds was recently with Lazard and before that, Rohatyn Group in the GP acquisitions and fund restructurings unit.

It is understood Reynolds will work with Kevin Nowaskey, director in the New York office, and Dexter Blake, a managing director in the firm’s Morristown office who leads the global secondaries practice.

Other hires in the past year include Zach Nulisch by way of Greenhill & Co as a vice-president in the Dallas office in September, and Secondaries Investor class of 2017 Young Gun Kevin Nowaskey last July.

Further, the firm expects to continue hiring in North America and particularly in London at the junior and senior level, Secondaries Investor understands. This is thanks to an increase in demand from existing clients as well as new clients in the pipeline, according to a source with knowledge of the matter.

These hires constitute the firm’s attempt at rebuilding since four senior members of its secondaries advisory team departed, including New York-based director John Corley in September and London-based managing director Dan Nolan (both are now with Swiss interdealer broker Tradition). Directors Bill Arnold and Maulik Patel also left the firm. Nowaskey has taken over for Corley, according the source, while the London spot is still vacant.

Duff & Phelps had been acquired by an investor consortium in April of 2020.

The new Duff & Phelps secondaries unit aims to be able to do “anything that comes in the door”, including GP and LP transactions. The firm will also look to expand its offering into adjacent strategies, such as real estate, credit and infrastructure secondaries, according to a source familiar with the matter.

The firm focuses on the sub-billion category, from $10 million direct positions right up to nearly-$1 billion transactions, Secondaries Investor understands. It feels its valuation and transaction opinion offerings serve as a complement to its secondaries services.