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Secondaries market pioneer Dayton Carr passes away

His firm Venture Capital Fund of America was the first to acquire interests in private equity funds.

The founder of what is widely believed to be the world’s first secondaries firm has passed away.

Dayton Carr, VCFA
Carr: Founded the first secondaries firm

Dayton Carr died peacefully at home in New York, according to a statement by Venture Capital Fund of America, the firm he founded in 1982. He was 78 years old.

“He was a visionary who was the first to recognise the opportunity to buy illiquid investments from the original investors in venture capital funds,” the statement reads. “Dayton was a storyteller who often enjoyed re-telling the origins of his firm, the benefits of secondaries and the many adventures he had through his life-long love of sailing.”

VCFA raised the first dedicated secondaries fund in 1984, a $6 million vehicle, according to a history of the secondaries market on Coller Capital’s website.

David Tom and Drew Reilly will continue as managing directors of the firm, as well as key persons on its latest fund, which recently held a first close, according to the announcement.

Carr was not a key man on any of the firm’s active funds, Reilly told Secondaries Investor.

The firm’s latest vehicle, VCFA Venture Partners VI, launched in 2018 with a target of $250 million, according to Secondaries Investor data.

Since inception, VCFA Group has raised nine funds totalling over $730 million. It can purchase single lines or portfolios of limited partnership interests, back GP-led processes and take secondary direct positions in VC-backed companies.

– Adam Le contributed to this report.