Though 2023 marks the eighth year we have run our list of the most influential and impressive young individuals in the secondaries market, the calibre of nominees continues to astound.
The judging panel this year comprised staff from across Secondaries Investor and affiliate title Private Equity International’s editorial teams, who were faced with scores of nominations from across all areas of the market. Narrowing this list down to only 10 winners was no mean feat.
The Next Gen Leaders of Secondaries list highlights the accomplishments of 10 outstanding individuals aged under 36 from across the world of secondaries. Scoring took place across four categories: the size and scope of nominees’ deals; the calibre of their firms; impressive displays of innovation or leadership; and whether or not the candidate displays the elusive X-factor. This year’s winners should be proud of their high-scoring capabilities across all of these categories.
Introducing: the Next Gen 10 class of 2023.
Senior principal, asset management
Whitehorse Liquidity Partners
Described by his colleagues as a “savvy investment professional” and “highly regarded for his thoughtfulness and his leadership”, Whitehorse Liquidity Partners’ Kevin Kang was a natural choice for this year’s Next Gen top spot. Over the course of his career at Whitehorse and at CPP Investments, where he previously spent four years on the secondaries team, Kang has helped deploy more than $6.5 billion across 35 deals. In addition to covering both traditional LP secondaries and complex GP-led transactions, Kang helps lead recruitment for Whitehorse’s asset management team and has contributed to doubling the size of the team from 15 to 30.
2Dave El Helou
Since joining Evercore in 2016, Dave El Helou has made a name for himself as a leader on some of the highest-profile transactions in the secondaries market. He has advised on more than $25 billion of secondaries transaction volume in the last three years, acting as the senior deal adviser for clients including Accel-KKR, Clearlake and Mubadala Capital. One peer notes that El Helou was one of the people at Evercore to recognise the potential of GP-led continuation funds, and has played a critical role in expanding the size of the team to its current level.
Apollo Global Management S3
Stuart Tishman joined Apollo from ICG in March 2022, becoming one of the first strategic hires made for the firm’s S3 secondaries unit. Tishman has been “crucial” in the growth of S3’s strategy, one colleague said, with another saying he is “highly articulate, quickly grasps complex matters and understands the intricacies of a deal”. In the 12 months to the end of the nomination period, Tishman aided in the investment of over $1 billion and closed around five transactions, including three lead investor positions in continuation funds and two LP-led portfolio sales.
Special funds counsel
Getting complex transactions over the line can be a feat of endurance. Enter: Proskauer’s Lucie Rose. Having joined the firm in 2019, Rose was promoted to special funds counsel last year, and played a “pivotal role” in the Bencis multi-asset continuation fund, which closed at the start of 2023, according to one nominator. The deal was a complicated one, involving several assets and a syndicate of investors. Rose was credited by industry peers as having “never run out of energy” throughout the course of the deal, with a willingness to pick up the phone and holding a “commercial mindset” that proved critical in negotiating the legal documents.
Max Barnes joined Rede Partners in 2021 from Abrdn, where he spent three years in its private equity team investing in primary, secondaries and co-investment deals across Europe. Barnes’ list of NAV financing mandates is enviable, advising the likes of Hg, Nordic Capital and TDR Capital. One nominee described Barnes as “one of the most experienced advisers” in the fund finance industry, with another saying he “deserves to be recognised as someone leading the market”. Barnes has also been instrumental in building out Rede’s GP-led capabilities.
Argosy Strategic Partners
Despite his young age, William Wang has been active in secondaries for nearly a decade, having started his career at Willowridge Partners in 2014. Wang has been involved in building out the PE secondaries programmes of Dutch pension APG and his current employer, multi-strategy asset manager Argosy Capital. He has executed approximately $900 million of secondaries deals across the three institutions, deploying capital via both LP stake sales and complex GP-led deals. Wang was promoted to partner at Argosy in June, having assisted in fundraising for its first institutional secondaries fund, which closed on
“Dependable investment leader and mentor to junior team members” is how one peer describes Grace Tan. She has worked on more than $1 billion of secondaries transactions in which Partners Group was either the sole lead or co-lead investor, involving a host of high-profile GPs such as TPG, BPEA EQT, MBK Partners and KKR. Among the key transactions she was involved in was the largest stapled tender offer secondary in Asia-Pacific, with a total transaction size of roughly $1 billion. Tan is also actively involved in the firm’s secondaries education sessions for LPs and GPs across APAC.
Having only joined the company last year, Tom Marking has already played a crucial role, by founding William Blair’s secondaries advisory team. Marking also leads the firm’s private capital advisory, and has helped expand the unit to more than 30 members. He has managed both GP-led and LP-led transactions, including a single-asset continuation fund and an oversubscribed annex fund – a particularly notable feat considering the challenging deal environment in 2022-23. During his previous role as vice-president at Evercore, Marking managed multiple secondaries transactions and raised over $5 billion from investors.
Frank Schwahn is respected by his peers as a “clear leader with exceptional work ethic”. Since joining the firm from HarbourVest Partners in 2021, Schwahn has worked on transactions with Investcorp, Deutsche Telekom Capital Partners, Kibo Ventures and Eos Partners for GP-led deals. More recently, Schwahn led the successful transaction of GHO Capital Partners’ single-asset continuation fund of Sterling Pharma, which was oversubscribed. He also co-led the $160 million transaction between Vertex Ventures and StepStone Group, which was one of the biggest GP-led deals in Israel at the time.
Matilde Horta e Costa
Costa is credited with bringing a “unique and insightful perspective” to secondaries investment decision-making. Her expertise in the market spans GP-led transactions and LP portfolios across private equity, venture capital, and credit – she oversaw more than $2 billion of transaction volume during her five-year tenure at Coller Capital in London. In her two years at Arcano Partners in Madrid, she has led more than 30 European mid-market PE transactions. Considered by peers to be a “team leader”, she also plays a significant role in developing younger talent and in mentoring initiatives such as the Women’s Society Alliance Mentorship Scheme.