Fund-of-funds House of the Year

In 2009, Adams Street Partners enters its 37th year of private equity investing, having achieved a number of milestones in 2008. An important accomplishment was to purchase the remaining minority interest from UBS in Adams Street Partners, which allowed it to become a completely independent and 100% employee-owned firm.

Recognised as the oldest institutional private equity fund-of-funds manager in the industry (which started making private equity fund investments in 1979), the firm continues to offer clients the opportunity to invest in global or regionally focused fund-of-funds on a yearly basis. Adams Street Partners began the annual fundraising process in 1996 in order to offer clients the flexibility of making investment decisions on a yearly basis and to continue to benefit from the administrative ease of a commingled fund.

In 2008, Adams Street successfully raised new funds across the private equity landscape: a direct venture/growth capital fund, a co-investment buyout fund and a secondary fund, in addition to its annual fund of funds programme. The fund-of-funds programme has evolved over the last 32 years from a US-focused strategy to a global programme, which also offers investors the opportunity to tailor their investments solely to the US or between developed and/or emerging markets in both Europe and Asia. Its disciplined investment approach has continued to produce returns which are consistently in the first or second quartile.

Hanneke Smits, CIO, believes that “the current environment, whilst no less challenging, will offer opportunities for those who are funded; examples include secondaries, improved access to recently very over-subscribed funds and opportunities in less developed markets. We have expanded globally in a measured way, implementing an investment strategy which emphasises diversification and, importantly, consistent manager weighting.

“This disciplined approach has resulted in us meeting our main objective of delivering long term superior returns to our clients. The approach is methodical and research driven, with the consistent manager weighting preventing us from getting over-exposed to “hot” sectors. Our reputation as a desired primary investor as well as our access to hundreds of GPs around the world has enabled us to solidify our position as a premier secondary investor that is ready to consider opportunities in the short term.”



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