Hamilton Lane Pros Launch Franklin

Armed with a differing philosophy, but no animosity, six investment professionals recently left Hamilton Lane Advisors to open their own private equity advisory firm. The new firm is named Franklin Investment Advisors, and is based less than 10 miles away from Hamilton Lane’s suburban Philadelphia headquarters.

“We are taking a unique approach to the asset class in that our business model is geared toward providing a hands-on service to institutional investors,” explains Bradley Atkins, chief executive with Franklin and former head of research with Hamilton Lane. “Our business model is geared toward advisory services, whereas other players also offer funds-of-funds. We are not structured to deliver products.”

The firm has not yet signed an official client to date, but has been retained as a sub-advisor to complete a valuation project for an unnamed financial institution looking to securitize its portfolio. More specifically, an involved ratings agency had asked the financial institution for a third-party analysis. Other expected services will include various valuation models, a cash-flow forecasting model and a multi-factor portfolio construction tool aimed at helping investors meet specific risk-return objectives.

The mass defection led to rumors that the six investors had left due to economic or management transition issues at Hamilton Lane, but Atkins stresses that it was purely a matter of perceived market opportunity. “We wanted to address a certain need we felt was in the market, but it had nothing to do with Hamilton Lane,” he says.

Those who left include: Atkins; Michael Bacine and James McGovern, both managing directors with Franklin and former vice presidents with Hamilton Lane; Karl Hartmann, Franklin’s chief operating officer and former vice president with Hamilton Lane; Neil Mowery, a former associate at Hamilton Lane; and Ryan Chowdhury, a former associate at Hamilton Lane.

In related news, Hamilton Lane recently plugged at least one major hole left by the Franklin exodus. The firm has named Alexander Cheung a vice president in charge of research. He most recently served as managing partner of Long Bow Capital.

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