ICG, the biggest player in the GP-led secondaries market by dedicated fundraises, will see changes to the senior leadership group of its strategic equity team for the first time since its founding as it sets its sights on its next fundraise.
Ricardo Lombardi, a founding member of the group and its head of Europe, becomes global head, according to details shared with Secondaries Investor. He takes over from Andrew Hawkins – who has led the team since its previous incarnations at NewGlobe Capital and Vision Capital – who becomes vice-chairman.
The firm has also hired Andrea Serra from Blackstone’s tactical opportunities group, who will join as head of Europe, according to a statement. Serra spent 15 years at Blackstone and was most recently a managing director based in New York. Reporting to Lombardi, he will relocate to London and will be part of the group’s senior leadership group as well as an investment committee member.
“Andrea’s appointment is further evidence of our long-standing thesis that having a team with direct private equity skills is essential to adequately evaluate and execute GP-led secondary transactions. We are pleased to welcome Andrea to the team, further strengthening our capabilities,” ICG’s chief investment officer and chief executive, Benoît Durteste, said in the statement.
Hawkins will remain on the group’s investment committee and as a key person for both current and future funds, according to a source familiar with the firm.
The succession plan has been developed over the last 18 months, Secondaries Investor understands.
Meanwhile, Christophe Browne, a managing director and co-head of North America for strategic equity, will step down from the firm to spend more time with his family after the firm’s latest vehicle, ICG Strategic Equity IV, is fully invested, the source noted. Browne is also a founding member of the group, having joined ICG with Hawkins and Lombardi when it hired the NewGlobe Capital team in 2014.
Browne is based in Miami, according to his LinkedIn profile.
Rob Campbell, who joined ICG in 2016, becomes sole head of North America for the unit, according to ICG’s website.
ICG has been a pioneer of GP-led secondaries, having raised the first dedicated fund to the strategy with its ICG Strategic Secondaries Fund II vehicle, which closed on $1.07 billion in 2017, according to Secondaries Investor data. Its latest fund, Strategic Equity IV, closed on more than $5 billion and is the largest pot of capital dedicated to GP-leds, Secondaries Investor reported in July.
Fund IV is already 74 percent deployed and the firm is planning its successor vehicle, according to the source. The team has invested more than $10 billion in GP-leds since 2014, according to the statement.
The group, which comprises 25 dedicated investment professionals according to the statement, is focusing solely on single-asset GP-leds with its latest fund, according to the source. It has written average ticket sizes of $600 million with this fund, which began deployment in April last year. This year, it has averaged ticket sizes of $700 million, the source noted.
Succession at private equity firms has been a hot topic this year with Carlyle Group chief executive Kewsong Lee leaving the firm in August and TDR Capital’s founders handing control to two managing partners in January.
It appears to be less of an important issue to LPs, with 58 percent of respondents to affiliate title Private Equity International’s most recent LP Perspectives Survey saying they consider succession planning a major part of their due diligence process, versus 69 percent in its 2021 report.