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Eaton taps Kroll for secondary advisory head

This is the second departure in two months from the secondary advisory team at Kroll, which is considering whether to remain in the market.

The game of musical chairs in the secondary advisory market continues, as Eaton Partners hires Dexter Blake as a New York-based managing director on the GP Advisory and Directs team, according to a statement.

Blake joins from Kroll, where he spent seven and a half years as a managing director in the secondary advisory team focused on complex portfolio sales, restructurings and direct secondaries.

This is the second recent departure from Kroll’s secondary advisory team, which until its acquisition in January operated under the Duff & Phelps banner. In April, Secondaries Investor reported director Kevin Nowaskey was leaving to join Moelis & Company after around a year and a half at Kroll.

A source with knowledge of the firm said it is reviewing whether it wants to continue to offer secondary advisory services. Kroll is better known for corporate investigations, risk consulting and valuation services. The firm did not wish to comment.

A placement agent since its founding in 1983, Eaton entered the secondary advisory market in 2014 by bringing on Michael Pilson, Alexander Mejia and Kevin Imhoff from Atlantic-Pacific Capital.

Pilson was the last to leave, becoming managing director and head of GP advisory before leaving to join Triago in July last year, Secondaries Investor reported.

A subsidiary of mid-market financial services holding company Stifel Financial Corp, Eaton Partners has advised on $2.5 billion of secondaries deals in the last three years, it said in the statement.

Guggenheim Partners, William Blair and UBS are among the firms to add secondary advisory executives or teams in 2022 as investment banks try to tap a growing GP-led market and defend their share of the M&A business, Secondaries Investor has reported.