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Kline Hill begins Zurich office build-out

The niche secondaries buyer is in the market for a Zurich-based associate and analyst to join Elena Laleh, who will join this month from Partners Group.

Niche secondaries firm Kline Hill Partners is building a presence on continental Europe.

The Greenwich, Connecticut-headquartered firm is in the market for a Zurich-based associate and analyst to join Elena Laleh, who is set to join this month after seven years at the Zurich office of Partners Group.

“Switzerland is a good source of talent – there is a lot of secondary, fund of funds and private equity talent in a relatively small geography. And there’s quick access to various regions around Europe, the UK as well as Germany and the Nordics,” partner Jared Barlow told Secondaries Investor.

“We’re taking office space in Zurich shortly and will be growing organically from there.”

Laleh is charged with leading Kline Hill’s European GP-led business, Barlow said. The news of her appointment was first reported by affiliate title Buyouts.

Kline Hill puts the number of limited partners and fund managers in Europe at approximately half that found in North America. Based on this the firm is underweight Europe, which Barlow expects to change on the LP-led and GP-led side.

In June, Kline Hill appointed David Swanson as US-based managing director, Buyouts reported. He came from nine years at Geneva-headquartered boutique investment manager Unigestion, where he was in charge of US secondaries.

Kline Hill is investing its third flagship secondaries fund, which closed in April last year on $450 million, according to Secondaries Investor data. It also raised a $150 million overage fund.

Speaking to Secondaries Investor in December, Barlow said the firm had transacted on a “couple of dozen transactions” in the second quarter of 2020. This was in contrast to the larger end of the market, where dealmaking stopped in Q2.

“It felt like almost every deal in the second quarter was because of covid or a seller that was already in the market and despite covid, still wanted to move forward, albeit at lower pricing,” he said.