Muller & Monroe Seeks $300M For Second Fund Of Funds

Firm: Muller & Monroe Asset Management LLC
Fund: M2 Private Equity Fund-of-Funds LP
Target: $300 million
Legal Adviser: Schiff Harden LLP

Funds-of-funds manager Muller & Monroe Asset Management LLC is back in the market with its second vehicle aimed at backing emerging managers. The Chicago-based firm invests primarily in private equity funds managed by minorities and women that are based in the Midwest. It is unclear if the firm will expand its geographic footprint with the new fund.

The limited partner is seeking $300 million for its sophomore vehicle, M2 Private Equity Fund-of-Funds LP, more than double the haul from its first fund. In 2005, Muller & Monroe closed on $144 million for its inaugural fund, Illinois Private Equity Fund-of-Funds LP. The firm did not return calls for this story by press time.

For its inaugural fund, the firm raised the majority of its capital from LPs in and around the Windy City, including the Chicago Policemen’s Annuity & Benefits, Chicago Transit Authority Employees’ Retirement Plan, Public School Teachers’ Pension and Retirement Fund of Chicago, Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund and State Universities Retirement System of Illinois. New Mexico State Investment Council also backed the fund.

With capital from its first vehicle, the firm reportedly backed Syndicated Communications Venture Partners V LP, a Maryland-based venture capital fund designed to invest in media and communications companies that target emerging segments of the telecommunications industry. In addition, Muller & Monroe invested with Smith Whiley & Co., a Connecticut-based mezzanine investment firm that has an outpost in Illinois and was founded by a black woman.

The firm also committed capital to ICV Capital Partners LLC, a minority-led buyout firm focused on smaller mid-market companies; LaSalle Capital Group LP, a Chicago LBO firm specializing in the lower middle market; and Prism Capital Corp., a Chicago-based firm that manages growth equity and mezzanine funds.

Muller & Monroe is helmed by Andre Rice, who founded the firm in 1999 and serves as its president. Before launching the funds-of-funds manager, Rice worked on mergers and acquisitions at Kraft Foods Inc. Irwin C. Loud III, a former private equity investment officer for the Florida State Board of Administration, serves as the firm’s managing director and chief investment officer.—J.P.