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StepStone pushes into secondaries

The Southern California-based private equity advisor has hired James Gamett to head up secondary investments, which the company believes has become an attractive investment area.

Private equity advisor StepStone Group is making a move into the secondaries market with the hire of James Gamett as managing director and head of secondary investments, a newly created position.

“We are seeking to diversify and strengthen our clients’ investment portfolios through targeted purchases in the secondaries market,” Monte Brem, chief executive officer of StepStone, said in a statement. “It is a particularly attractive time to purchase secondary interests due to the current market dislocation and historically attractive discounts.”

Gamett was previously vice president of secondary investments for fellow gatekeeper Portfolio Advisors, where he helped grow the secondary programme to $800 million of invested capital, StepStone said.

The firm, based in Southern California, was founded in 2007 by Brem, Thomas Keck and Jose Fernandez after Brem left gatekeeper Pacific Corporate Group. StepStone’s clients include the Kuwait Investment Authority, the George Kaiser Family Foundation, the Los Angeles Fire and Pension Pensions and the State of Wisconsin Investment Board.

It is currently advising LPs in Lehman Brothers’ private equity funds, which are due to be sold off early next year.