Morgan Stanley’s $2.5bn single-asset fund in context

Ashbridge Transformational Secondaries Fund II is nearly four times larger than its predecessor, which closed on $675m in 2018.

Another sizeable GP-led secondaries fund has been raised, with Morgan Stanley Investment Management holding a $2.5 billion final close on its latest vehicle exclusively focused on single-asset GP-led continuation funds.

Ashbridge Transformational Secondaries Fund II, which closed short of the $3 billion target that a spokesperson for the firm shared with Secondaries Investor last year, is nearly four times larger than its predecessor, which closed on $675 million in 2018.

The vehicle will target investments from mid-market private equity funds.

Investors included public and private pension funds, sovereign wealth funds, non-profits, funds of funds, family offices and high-net-worth individuals, according to a statement.

“The secondaries market has more than tripled in size since 2011,” said Nash Waterman, managing director and head of Morgan Stanley private equity secondaries. “With GP-led secondaries representing approximately half of the market as sponsors seek solutions for longer hold periods, duration mismatch between investors and additional capital to effectively implement value creation strategies.”

Morgan Stanley has committed $3.6 billion in GP-led single-asset secondaries transactions since 2006, according to David Miller, managing director and head of private credit and equity, adding that the bank has more than $40 billion of assets under management across private credit and equity strategies.

The close of Morgan Stanley’s single asset-focused fund follows that of Blackstone Strategic Partners‘ inaugural GP-led focused fund. Strategic Partners GP Solutions closed on $2.7 billion last month.

ICG Strategic Equity’s GP-led-focused Fund IV is understood to have held its final close on $5.3 billion last year.

Secondaries firms are increasingly separating their investment strategies into dedicated specialist funds amid a shift in dynamics in the market for second-hand fund stakes and assets, Secondaries Investor reported this week.