Stafford Capital Partners has appointed two investment professionals in the UK and one in Austin, Texas as it continues to raise capital for across infrastructure and timberland vehicles that invest in secondaries.
The global investment manager hired Michelle Ewart to lead its business development activities in North America, and James Allen and Marek Guizot have joined the firm’s real assets team in its London headquarters, according to a statement.
Ewart joins from investment management firm Meritage Capital where she was managing director. Prior to this she was director of investor relations and marketing at California-based alternatives firm Bocage Capital.
Allen has joined Stafford full time after being mandated in June 2014 to help the firm build an agriculture investment strategy. He had also been working with the firm’s sustainable capital, venture capital and infrastructure secondaries funds.
Allen told Secondaries Investor he will now focus on the agriculture business.
The firm is targeting €250 million for Stafford Infrastructure Secondaries Fund II, which it held a close on €164 million in September. It is the first dedicated secondaries fund in the asset class that Stafford has raised after the firm was formed through the merger of Stafford Timberland and Australia’s Quay Partners in 2014.
In January the firm hired 17-year infrastructure veteran David Lindsay to help it with deal sourcing and fund raising for the strategy.
Guizot, who joins from East Africa-focused forest products company Green Resources, will have a specific focus on Stafford’s Phaunos Timber Fund. His wider duties will include investor relations, asset due diligence and investment performance monitoring.
Angus Whiteley, chief executive at Stafford, said the firm is “deepening our real assets capabilities, with this added specialist expertise in timberland and agriculture building on recent infrastructure hires. At the same time Michelle’s appointment in the US allows us to better serve the needs of institutions in the US.”
Stafford is raising its eighth timber fund, Stafford International Timberland Fund VIII, which is targeting $500 million and for which it held a $180 million second close in November. Stafford’s first transaction from the fund was the $50 million acquisition of a diversified portfolio of five US timberland funds.
Stafford has $4.5 billion under management and advice. The firm manages investments in agriculture, private equity, infrastructure and other alternative assets, and has offices in six global locations.