Eaton Partners plants flag in New York

The new office – the placement agent’s ninth globally – will facilitate the firm’s increasing work in the secondaries advisory space.

Placement agent and advisory firm Eaton Partners has opened an office in New York City, sister publication Private Equity International has learned.

The office will be led and managed by Steve Eaton, a partner with Eaton Partners, who focuses on the distribution of the firm’s private equity, real estate and real assets offerings. He will be joined by managing director Michael Pilson, head of hedge fund origination Scott Froehlich, and senior vice president Robin Tyrangiel.

The office opening is the latest in a series of expansions for the Connecticut-headquartered firm, which became a wholly-owned subsidiary of Stifel Financial Corp in January 2016. This is the third new office opened since then, alongside Chicago and San Francisco.

The synergies with Stifel – Eaton’s New York office is in the same building – made it a good time to “plant a flag in New York”, partner Peter Martenson told PEI.

“We’ve got four or five clients based out of New York, so our team was certainly spending a lot of time headed down to New York,” he said. “With secondaries, restructurings, recapitalisations, directs, we’ve got a lot going on in New York that is more in the finance and near-investment banking side.”

In March PEI revealed the firm was hiring three executives in its London office, two of whom were set to join from other placement or advisory firms and one from a general partner. At the time the three recruits were working out notice periods and gardening leave and were set to be in position within the following six months.

In September 2016 Eaton hired Gianluca D’Angelo, formerly a partner at Probitas Partners and briefly at Quest Fund Placement in the UK, to lead its Europe offering from its London office.

In April Eaton launched a new team focused on raising capital for direct investments worldwide. The firm has been working more with general partners and independent sponsors to fundraise for direct deal-by-deal investments, the firm said in a statement at the time.

The clientele consists of family offices, insurers, sovereign wealth funds, public pension plans, foundations and endowments and their advisors, according to a spokesperson.

The firm now comprises 75 people across nine offices globally: Rowayton, Connecticut; Hong Kong; Chicago; New York; San Francisco; Shanghai; Houston; San Diego; and London.

“We’re at the critical mass of what we need, at least [in terms of] offices, and will continue to add selectively to our team,” Martenson said.