Whitehorse at least halfway to target

The debut fund of ex-CPPIB secondaries head Yann Robard has received a $100m anchor commitment from Alaska’s sovereign wealth fund.

Whitehorse Liquidity Partners, the firm founded by former head of secondaries at the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board Yann Robard, is at least halfway to its $300 million target after about a year of fundraising.

During the fourth quarter of last year, Alaska Permanent Fund Corporation closed a $100 million cornerstone commitment to Whitehorse Liquidity Partners I and its affiliates, according to materials from the public pension fund’s 22-23 February meeting.

The document shows the corporation, which manages around $50 billion in assets on behalf of Alaska Permanent Fund, held phone calls with Toronto-based Whitehorse as early as 12 October for a fund investment opportunity.

This anchor commitment follows a $50 million commitment from an unspecified limited partner documented in an updated regulatory filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission from May, which also indicated the fund is targeting $300 million.

Secondaries Investor exclusively reported in October 2015 that Robard left CPPIB, and that he later launched Whitehorse.

According to Whitehorse’s website, Robard has partnered with Michael Gubbels, who had previously managed direct private equity investments at Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan and Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System.

The firm targets preferred equity investments in private equity portfolios on the secondaries market, making transactions with institutional investors wanting to exit their fund stakes, funds of funds wanting to create distributions for their limited partners and secondaries buyers interested in financing portfolio purchases.

Alaska Permanent fund allocated $900 million to private equity last year, according to PEI data. The fund began investing in the asset class in 2004 and has used Pathway Capital Management and HarbourVest Partners to manage fully discretionary separate accounts.

Whitehorse declined to comment. Alaska was not available for comment.