Simpson Thacher hires new secondaries lead

Partner Lauren King comes from Goodwin Proctor where she was co-leader of the secondaries practice.

Global law firm Simpson, Thacher & Bartlett has made a senior hire to bolster its secondaries practice.

Lauren King
Lauren King

The firm has brought on Lauren King as a partner in its New York office, according to a statement seen exclusively by Secondaries Investor. King was previously a partner at Goodwin Proctor where she co-led the secondaries practice, according to the statement.

King will lead the secondaries practice at Simon Thacher, working alongside Michael Wolitzer, head of the firm’s private funds practice. King’s background “advising GP-leds, synthetic secondaries and other similar transactions” will strengthen the firm’s “growing” secondaries offering, according to Wolitzer.

King has spent her entire career in secondaries-focused fund formation and secondaries transactions, according to a source familiar with the matter. She has also worked on large LP portfolio deals, staples, tenders, preferred equity transactions and other complex secondaries.

The firm’s decision to hire King was the result of a search over the past year – the increasing relevance of GP-led transactions influenced the firm to bolster its offering, according to the source.

Fully 60 percent of dealflow in the first half of this year was in the form of GP-led deals, a 38 percent increase on the same period of last year in volume terms, according to JefferiesGlobal Secondary Market Review. Of these, approximately 45 percent were single-asset deals, up from around 30 percent last year.

Several firms are setting themselves up to take advantage of what Ares Management chief executive Michael Arougheti recently called an “inflection point” in the secondaries market, also noting the dominance of GP-led transactions.

Last week, Secondaries Investor reported that CVC Capital Partners was in advanced talks to acquire London-based secondaries house Glendower Capital.

At least five secondaries firms have been acquired so far in 2021, including Swiss secondaries firm Montana Capital Partners, Baltimore-based Greenspring Associates and Singapore-headquartered Foundation Private Equity in July alone.