Probitas taps Harken for new global head of secondaries

The placement agent has hired former managing director Nick Hatch to advise on LP-led and GP-led opportunities.

Placement agent Probitas Partners has hired Harken Capital Securities’ Nick Hatch as its global head of secondaries.

Hatch has spent over a decade with Harken Capital, having founded its secondaries advisory platform. He was promoted to managing director at the placement agent in 2014. Prior to that he was a vice-president at valuation and secondaries advisory firm Scalar Partners and was previously with Probitas as an analyst.

He began his career at Jefferies and Deutsche Bank.

Probitas has advised on secondaries historically, and the senior appointment marks a move into “a new phase of growth” for the placement agent, chief executive Ray Tsao said.

Probitas’s secondaries unit under Hatch will have a broad private markets focus – spanning LP-led and GP-led secondaries opportunities across real estate, infrastructure, credit and buyout, among other areas, Hatch told Secondaries Investor. The team will focus on the mid-market, advising on GP-led transactions for funds which have raised around $500 million to $1.5 billion, he added.

Secondaries Investor understands Hatch will initially work with mid-level and junior ranks at Probitas who have worked on secondaries deals, and that there could also be some modest external hiring.

“I’ve seen the evolution of the market – which has grown substantially in 15 years – and this move is reflective of the fact that I’m still very optimistic about the direction of the market and how much more need there is for innovation,” Hatch said.

Estimates that the secondaries market could see $150 billion of activity seem “appropriate” for 2023, given exit markets have dried up, capital markets have slowed and there is pent up demand for liquidity” Hatch said, adding he anticipates the next two years will be “huge for the secondaries market”.

“There’s going to be an issue of capital constraint because there’s only so many secondary funds that can only raise so much money from existing investors, who also don’t have a lot of liquidity themselves. Tapping new areas of dry powder for the secondaries market is going to be important for the growth of the industry,” he said.