Consello Capital, led by ex-Sycamore exec, seeks capital for debut

The firm in October announced its first investment, taking a majority stake in ProSearch Strategies, a tech-enabled legal services provider to enterprise customers.

Consello Capital, a new private equity group led by former Sycamore Partners senior executive Peter Morrow, is targeting $500 million for its debut fund, according to sources.

That target has been adjusted from the firm’s original goal of $1 billion, laid out in SEC fundraising documents from May. The firm more recently chose to lower the target likely because of the challenging fundraising environment, a source told Buyouts.

The team, part of the larger Consello Group, is among a handful of first-time shops seeking capital in the challenging markets. For emerging managers, fundraising is harder than ever as GPs look to stick with their best-performing, deepest relationships. New managers are often left out of the mix when markets turn, especially as more established managers continue to launch new funds.

First-time funds only raised $6 billion globally in the first quarter of 2023, after raising $67 billion all of last year, according to Buyouts data.

“LPs are constrained with liquidity, and when that happens, their most precious capital gets allocated to core relationships, they re-up with their best and most favorite groups they don’t want to lose, and most core relationships tend to be with larger-cap managers,” explains an LP that allocates to new managers.

“What that means is that the smaller and more up-and-coming managers, or emerging managers, are taking a lot longer to hit fundraising targets,” the LP said.

Consello Capital was formed in 2022 and is owned by Morrow and Declan Kelly, according to the firm’s Form ADV. Morrow joined after leaving Sycamore, the firm he helped form in 2011 along with founder Stefan Kaluzny. Both Morrow and Kaluzny had formerly worked at Golden Gate Capital.

Consello Capital had about $211 million of assets under management as of July, the ADV said. The firm targets investments in both mature and growth-stage companies in industries including business services, consumer/retail and industrials, according to the firm’s Form ADV.

“The primary filter for target investments will be identifying opportunities where the resources, Fortune 500 network and team of the broader Consello Advisory Business can be leveraged to differentially add value,” the ADV said.

The firm in October announced a majority investment in ProSearch Strategies, a tech-enabled legal services provider to enterprise customers. The deal was Consello Capital’s first investment.

Kelly, CEO of Consello Group, formed the financial services firm after leaving Teneo in 2021. Consello Group has four business lines: investing; M&A advisory and investment banking; growth and business development; and digital assets advisory.

Kelly has brought on some big names as he grows his firm, including former NFL star quarterback Tom Brady; Citi’s former co-head of global M&A Mark Shafir, who is head of Consello’s investment banking; and Mindy Grossman, former president and CEO of WW International (formerly called Weight Watchers).

Check out Buyouts’ extensive database of emerging managers, including first-time funds like Constello Capital.