It was another exciting year of poaching, departures, resignations and retirements in the world of secondaries, including at least two new firms tossing their hats into the buyside ring.
Here are the top five most notable people moves this year:
1. BlackRock poaches Goldman Sachs’s Steve Lessar and Konnin Tam
In a move that got the whole market talking, the world’s largest asset manager hired two executives from Goldman’s Vintage funds programme to launch a secondaries business. The pair joined in July and are attempting to build up the team. They have hired Jasper Ridge Partners’ Veena Isaac, who is set to join in early 2019.
2. Lexington Partners’ Brent Nicklas hands over the reins
After founding the firm 25 years ago, Nicklas decided to relinquish day-to-day control of the secondaries powerhouse to Wilson Warren, who became president. Nicklas assumed the role of non-executive chairman.
The news was followed by the September departure of investor relations head and partner Rebecca John, a 17-year veteran of the firm.
3. Strategic Partners’ Stephen Can stands aside
The Blackstone secondaries unit’s co-head and senior managing director told investors in May he was to stand back from the day-to-day running of the business. Can will assume the role of executive chairman in February and is expected to retire from the firm within a few years.
The move was followed in July by the departure of long-standing directors Brian Kolin and Boriana Karastoyanova, who had joined Credit Suisse Strategic Partners before its 2013 acquisition.
4. Ardian’s Dominique Gaillard leaves executive committee
The secondaries giant’s managing partner stepped aside to make way for four fresh faces in January. Gaillard has been with the Paris-headquartered investment firm since 1997 and continues as head of direct funds, remains an executive director and keeps his place on the firm’s investment committee.
5. UBS hires Credit Suisse’s Marc Wursdorfer
After 15 years at the Swiss rival, Wursdorfer joined UBS in January as its first EMEA head within the bank’s private funds group. At Credit Suisse, he had been responsible for primary capital raising in the Nordics and sourcing secondaries deals.
Other notable moves include:
- DWS continued rebuilding its secondaries team under Mark McDonald with the hire of Meketa Investment Group’s Daniel Green in January as EMEA private equity secondaries head and Morgan Stanley’s Kumber Husain in November as Americas private equity head.
- Lazard poached two Greenhill professionals: Singapore-based Dominik Woessner in January and London-based Nadira Huda.
- Northleaf Capital Partners poached Vision Capital partner Matt Shafer in January to launch its New York office.
- Montana Capital Partners hired former Adveq chief executive Sven Lidén as chief operating officer in May.
- Rede Partners bulked up its secondaries advisory practice under head Yaron Zafir with the hire of AlpInvest Partners veteran Michael Camacho in July.
- Preferred equity specialist 17Capital appointed JPMorgan’s Tom Doyle in September as a partner. The firm had poached Lazard vice-president Pierre Garnier in June while in October investment director Vjerana Spajic departed the firm.