PEI Awards 2017: Americas secondaries

Deal, firm, advisor and law firm of the year in the coveted awards for sister publication Private Equity International.





Secondaries firm of the year in the Americas

  1. AlpInvest Partners
  2. Landmark Partners
  3. Lexington Partners

Last year was a record one for secondaries fundraising and AlpInvest played no small part, hitting a $6.5 billion final close on its sixth secondaries programme. The $3.3 billion dedicated commingled secondaries vehicle AlpInvest Secondaries Fund VI was almost four-and-a-half times the size of its previous dedicated fund. The fund has committed to 12 transactions since it began deployment in September 2016, more than half of which were GP-led deals. “One of the biggest challenges was getting the AlpInvest brand known in the LP market,” the firm’s secondaries head Wouter Moerel told PEI in December. They know now.

Secondaries deal of the year in North America

  1. Landmark Partners for Clearlake Capital
  2. CPPIB, Evercore for Ardian portfolio sale
  3. Coller Capital and UBS for Avista Capital stapled deal

Preferred equity was a key theme in the secondaries market last year, with 17Capital raising more than €1 billion in record time and Whitehorse Liquidity Partners closing its debut fund above target on $400 million. Few secondaries generalists have embraced preferred equity as wholeheartedly as Landmark, with such deals accounting for nearly a quarter of invested capital from its 2008-vintage Fund XV. In April last year, the firm used the fund to help Clearlake Capital, a West Coast lower- and mid-market private equity firm, purchase Reservoir Capital’s stake in its own GP management company. The stake represented around a 20 percent stake in Clearlake, sister publication Secondaries Investor reported at the time. Around a third of voters threw their backing behind the deal.

Secondaries advisor of the year in the Americas

  1. Evercore
  2. Credit Suisse
  3. Park Hill

According to a report published by Evercore, 2017 saw record secondaries market transaction volumes of $54 billion, $17 billion up on 2016. The advisory firm itself helped a lot of that happen, proving to be among the busiest in North America last year. In March it helped Ardian offload a portfolio of more than $1 billion in pre-crisis stakes to Canada Pension Plan Investment Board. It also helped struggling Dallas Police and Fire Pension System execute multiple stake sales as it looked to generate cash flows from its illiquid portfolio. With a couple of big deals already in the pipeline, including Alaska Permanent Fund’s sale of $1 billion of stakes, 2018 is set to be just as busy.

Law firm of the year in North America (secondaries)

  1. Kirkland & Ellis
  2. Proskauer
  3. Simpson Thacher & Bartlett

In North America, Kirkland & Ellis’s name pops up on many of the most prominent secondaries deals to have taken place last year. It worked on our American Deal of the Year, Clearlake’s acquisition, using preferred equity financing, of a stake in its own GP. It also dotted the i’s and crossed the t’s of the Warburg Pincus strip sale and the fund recapitalisations carried out by tech-focused PE firm Vector Capital. Michael Belsley, who leads Kirkland’s secondaries practice, said: “With respect to secondary transactions, Kirkland’s goal is not only to provide high-quality legal services to our clients, but to be a thought-leader in this market segment.”

In 2017, across all markets, Kirkland was involved in more than $12.9 billion of secondaries transactions, including 61 secondaries portfolio sales for an aggregate of $6.1 billion of transaction value.