Cresset Capital, led by ex-Willis Stein, Sterling Partners execs, expects first direct deal this year

  • Why is this important: Family offices and independent sponsors are attracting PE talent

Cresset Capital Management, the investment firm formed by ex-Willis Stein Partners and Sterling Partners executives, expects its first direct private equity deal this year, Managing Director Nick Parrish said.

Cresset Partners, the private investment arm of the firm, expects to offer a pipeline of real estate and private equity investments to investors on a deal-by-deal basis, Parrish said.

“Unlike private equity funds with a defined life cycle, we can provide long-term capital to businesses,” Parrish said.

“It helps us make decisions that will be the best for the business and aligns with the long-term investment horizon of our clients.”

Avy Stein, chief executive of Willis Stein, and Eric Becker, co-founder of Sterling Partners, formed Cresset in 2017. Parrish joined in July from GCM Grosvenor.

Cresset has a wealth-management platform and a private investment arm offering investors exposure to real estate, private capital and sponsor products.

“We are really just families investing with families,” Parrish said.

In less than a year, Cresset’s wealth-advisers business, which provides fee-only investment-advisory services, garnered more than $2.9 billion in assets under management from family offices and high-net-worth individuals, according to its SEC filings.

Cresset Partners also closed its first real estate deal this year and is fundraising for its second deal, Parrish said.

Clients of its wealth business will have priority access to the deals sourced by Cresset Partners, but Parrish is also working to build a network of family offices, institutions and non-U.S. investors to co-invest alongside Cresset in these deals.

“We would like to partner with other like-minded investors who can benefit from our deal flow and operational expertise,” Parrish said.

Chris Boehm leads the private capital efforts to make equity and debt investments in middle-market businesses in stable industries with more than $5 million in Ebitda, according to its website.

Cresset has also filed with the SEC to create a registered investment company offering private equity investments to individual investors, Parrish said.

Cresset recently hired Scott Conners, Michael Carrano and Jason Neal, all formerly with Landmark Partners, to establish the sponsor-products team. The sponsor vertical will complement the private capital strategy by providing access to secondary, primary and co-investment strategies, its website said.

The deal flow comes from the Cresset ecosystem, Parrish said. “The team’s collective reach is wide and deep,” he said.

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