Macquarie to launch secondaries advisory unit led by ex-APC exec

The financial giant has become the latest firm to get in on the growing GP-led advisory space.

Macquarie Group, the Australia-headquartered banking giant, is launching a secondaries advisory business in response to rising activities in the GP-led market, Secondaries Investor has learned.

The advisory unit will be led by Steven Westerback, former partner at placement agent and advisory firm Atlantic-Pacific Capital, according to four sources familiar with the matter.

Westerback will join Macquarie as a managing director, Secondaries Investor understands. His biography is no longer displayed on APC’s website.

Westerback joined APC in 2019 and has overseen the firm’s secondaries advisory business across all private capital asset classes and geographies, according to his LinkedIn profile. Prior to APC, Westerback worked at Cebile Capital and UBS where he advised on secondaries transactions and primary capital fundraising, his profile shows.

Macquarie’s secondaries advisory unit will focus primarily on continuation vehicles, according to two of the sources. The firm is still building out the team and has not yet given it a formal name, Secondaries Investor understands.

Macquarie declined to comment. Atlantic-Pacific Capital did not respond to a request for comment by press time. Westerback did not return requests for comment.

The Sydney-headquartered financial institution has been building out its secondaries capacity as an investor. The firm launched an infrastructure secondaries investment team in 2021, Secondaries Investor reported at the time. The investment team is headed by Wandy Hoh, who came from infrastructure investor Glenfarne Group. She was subsequently joined by vice-president Bryan Beach, senior vice-president Bing Wong and managing director Irina Luckey.

Macquarie’s expansion into secondaries advisory comes as advisory groups shift and expand, with some places growing their capabilities to meet the increasing demand for transactions such as continuation funds and LP portfolio sales. Most recently, Jefferies hired two professionals from William Blair to join its private capital advisory team, affiliate title Buyouts reported. In November, Goldman Sachs hired Nicholas Gleize from Evercore to build up its secondaries advisory unit, Buyouts reported.

GP-led secondaries have become an increasingly established exit path for LPs amid the scarcity of more conventional exit options. They accounted for 12 percent of sponsor-backed exit volume last year, up from 7 percent in the year before, according to BlackRock’s H1 2024 market outlook on private market secondaries.

– Madeleine Farman and Adam Le contributed to this report.