Top five people moves of 2023

It's time to refresh your memory on what the biggest personnel moves in the secondaries market were this year.

1-5 on wooden blocks

If private equity is a people business, then secondaries is a people business and then some. There was no shortage of personnel moves this year across the buyside, advisory side and legal side.

Here are the five most notable people moves of the year.

5. Strategic Partners’ David Fox departs the firm

In October, affiliate title Buyouts reported that David Fox, a long-time senior executive with Blackstone’s Strategic Partners team who is on the investment committees for each Strategic Partners fund, was to leave the firm at the end of the year. Fox was understood to be leaving to spend time with family, according to a spokesperson. It is still unclear if he will take on a role with another firm. A profile by affiliate title Private Equity International for its 2020 Future 40: Dealmakers described Fox as “thoughtful, diligent and creative in his approach”.

4. Jefferies MD departs for PJT Park Hill

Having moved to Jefferies from Greenhill in 2020, advisory expert Brenlen Jinkens moved again to pastures anew. In November, Secondaries Investor reported that Jinkens was to join PJT Park Hill that month as a senior adviser focusing on private capital. Jinkens will give PJT an on-the-ground ability to focus on LP-led advisory in Europe and incremental seniority, market coverage and global momentum to what the investment bank has been executing on, Secondaries Investor reported. He will also focus on advisory work in the Middle East.

Jinkens is well known in the European LP secondaries market. He’s also a keen cook – Secondaries Investor has long since enjoyed this now rather dated episode of UK reality television show TV Dinners in which Jinkens demonstrates his prowess at New Orleans cuisine.

3. CPP Investments loses funds and secondaries head

In April, Secondaries Investor reported that the world’s biggest investor in private equity was losing its head of funds and secondaries. Delaney Brown, a managing director, was stepping down from his role with his next destination unclear. He had joined CPP Investments in 2013 after eight years at Hermes GPE, where he was head of the Americas. Brown later emerged in September at Bregal Investments as its head of capital solutions.

2. Credit Suisse execs depart the troubled bank

At least four notable Credit Suisse secondaries advisory professionals stepped down this year as the bank moves through its emergency acquisition by UBS. Affiliate title Buyouts reported that Dirk Jonske, Gabrielle Kim and Adrian Siew were leaving the bank. All three emerged at Eaton Partners later in the year. Jonathan Abecassis, a London-based managing director in the bank’s private fund group, is understood to have agreed to join Harris Williams to lead its European secondaries advisory business.

1. BEX Capital founder passes away

In what is the second obituary Secondaries Investor has included in its annual list of people-related developments, BEX Capital founder Benjamin Revillon passed away after struggling with illness at the end of May. Revillon was a pioneer in the business of acquiring secondhand stakes in funds of funds and secondaries funds. His firm grew from managing a €50 million debut vehicle in 2015 to having $1.3 billion in assets under management as of 2023.

Revillon’s mark on the world wasn’t just a niche secondaries strategy, as we noted in a commentary in June. BEX was a pioneer in relocating its headquarters from Paris to Nice on the French Riviera in 2018 – a move that seems like a no-brainer in the post-covid era of Zoom calls and remote working. It also developed a special share class upon the final close of its Fund III in 2019 – shares free from management fees and carried interest, made available for non-governmental organisations and major non-profit foundations.

Notable mentions

  • AXA Investment Managers Prime hired Matthieu Ducharme, who had previously been a managing director at Northleaf Capital Partners.
  • Sabina Sammartino joined DC Advisory as a managing director in the GP secondaries team. She was previously Mercury Capital Advisors’ head of secondaries. Ludovic Douge, from Jasmin Capital, also joined the investment banking arm of Japanese financial services conglomerate Daiwa Securities Group this year.
  • Evercore’s Nicholas Gleize joined Goldman Sachs as a senior vice-president in its advisory team.
  • Dan Nolan, former head of private markets at Swiss interdealer-broker Tradition, joined New York-headquartered Warana Capital to oversee the deployment of its dedicated lending strategy.
  • Sarah Schwarzschild, BGO Strategic Capital Partners’ co-head of secondaries, joined Mavik Capital Management.
  • Sebastien Siou, a former partner at preferred equity specialist Whitehorse Liquidity Partners, joined advisory firm Devon Park.
  • Spencer Gyory rejoined Lazard from Goldman Sachs, where he had been to work in its secondaries advisory group.
  • Lisa Sun, a former Coller Capital principal, joined BlackRock as a managing director and co-head of its secondaries and liquidity solutions platform.

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