Granville and Hamilton Lane Cease Talks

Granville Private Equity Funds (GPEF), Granville Private Equity’s international fund management and advisory business, and Hamilton Lane Advisors, the US fund advisory group have confirmed that they have decided not to proceed further with a joint venture which would have given Granville a minority holding in an international advisory business. It was reported in December that the parties were holding talks with a view to establishing some form of partnership.

Speaking for Granville Private Equity, managing director Mike Proudlock stressed that Granville holds the professionalism of Hamilton Lane in high regard and had had no doubts about the group’s quality as a potential partner. However, he explained, Granville eventually decided it would not be happy “with a stake in a business we did not control”.

Hamilton Lane was seeking enhanced access to international fund markets through the joint venture. Speaking for the group, Marcie Kennedy confirmed that Hamilton Lane is still actively pursuing various means of establishing a presence outside the US, particularly in the European fund market.

GPEF, which currently manages some GBP300 million on behalf of three main clients, Hermes/Postel, Guardian Royal Exchange and Scottish Widows, last year appointed William S. (Bill) Field, Prudential Equity Investors co-founder and former CEO, to act as its US representative in a bid to bring on board US institutions seeking access to international markets. Granville is continuing to pursue this aim, and is likely to expand its presence in the US during the course of this year.

GPEF enjoyed a good year in 1997, according to Mike Proudlock, and made “a number of US, Asian and European investments”. It is currently negotiating a deal to take over a secondary portfolio of European fund and direct investments. Going forward, Mike Proudlock said, GPEF “will revert back to the expansion plans we were just beginning to implement when the discussions with Hamilton Lane were initiated”. He confirmed that GPEF is “working steadily with a number of potential new clients in Europe”.