Morgan Stanley plants flag in secondaries advisory with PJT hire

The investment bank is the latest to launch a secondaries advisory unit and has hired a New York-based executive to assist with its push.

Morgan Stanley has become the latest firm to enter the rapidly expanding secondaries advisory business, Secondaries Investor has learned.

The firm has recently hired Charles Carroll, who resigned from PJT Park Hill to help with the endeavour, according to two sources familiar with the matter.

Carroll had been a managing director in PJT Partners’ secondaries advisory group, where he worked since 2015, with a focus on GP-led capital solutions, according to his LinkedIn profile. Other details of the advisory’s launch are unclear.

In early February, Morgan Stanley’s buyside group closed a single-asset process centred around Axispoint Technology Solutions Group, a portfolio company owned by New York-headquartered growth investor RunTide Capital.

In December, Morgan Stanley appointed Nash Waterman as sole head of its AIP Private Equity Secondaries team as a part of wider moves at the investment bank, Secondaries Investor reported.

PJT has been active on the recruiting front. The investment bank hired former Morgan Stanley financial sponsors exec Jolie Chow in January to head up its Asia secondaries business. Last month, the investment bank hired a principal from Lexington Partners to join her, as Secondaries Investor reported.

In London, PJT hired two advisory professionals from Credit Suisse and Aviditi Advisors in March, following hires from Greenhill and Goldman Sachs in the preceding six months, Secondaries Investor reported.

PJT Partners advised on $10 billion of deal volume in 2020, roughly evenly split between GP-led deals and LP portfolios, according to the Secondaries Investor Advisory Survey 2021. Around $3.8 billion was in single-asset transactions.

Morgan Stanley isn’t alone in recognising the advisory opportunity. Aviditi AdvisorsGoldman SachsRothschild & Co and Tradition are among those to plant a flag in the advisory market over the past 18 months, Secondaries Investor reported.

Hiring activity in secondaries advisory remains highly frenetic as firms look to position themselves to capture this year’s expected rebound in transaction volume, which could rise to the level of $100 billion by year end, according to the co-head of a global secondaries buyer, speaking to an industry-wide consensus expectation, off of last year’s pandemic-impacted figure of $61 billion.

PJT did not return a request for comment by press time. A spokeswoman for Morgan Stanley declined to comment.

– Rod James contributed to this story.