Mercury secondaries head promoted to leadership role

The appointment is part of a raft of wider moves at the placement agent and advisory firm, including the departure of one of its co-founders.

Mercury Capital Advisors‘ head of secondaries has been appointed to the firm’s leadership team amid a raft of changes including the departure of its co-founder.

Devrup Banerjee, who joined Mercury in February as a partner from Glendower Capital, will be part of the leadership committee that the firm says it has created to “meet the demands of rising opportunities in private markets and drive the strategy of the firm”.

“We are experiencing a strong rebound in LP sentiment and allocations in 2023, as well as increasing requests from GPs for fund and co-investment placement, and secondary solutions for existing portfolio assets,” said John Franklin, managing partner, in a statement.

Co-founder Enrique Cuan is leaving the Investcorp-owned placement agent and advisory firm to pursue other career opportunities, the statement noted. Cuan directed and co-led the spin-out of the PE fundraising group from Merrill Lynch in 2009. He was responsible for advising institutional investors in Europe and Asia (ex-Japan and Korea) on their alternative investments and co-led Mercury’s expansion into new areas including asset management, secondaries and co-investments. His next steps are unclear.

The placement agent has had several high-profile departures in recent years. Former secondaries head Sabina Sammartino stepped down in February to join the advisory unit of Japan’s Daiwa Securities Group, as Secondaries Investor reported. Alan Pardee, one of three founding members, departed in 2019 to join Valor Equity Partners.

Mercury’s other co-founder and chief executive, Michael Ricciardi, moved to a chairman emeritus position in 2021.

Last July, Mercury hired Vik Salh from Upwelling Capital as a vice-president of secondaries, as Secondaries Investor reported.

Mercury was acquired by Bahrain-headquartered Investcorp in 2019. In addition to its secondaries business, it has been a regular placement agent for GPs such as Coller Capital and Asia-focused growth investor Anchor Equity Partners.