Need To Meet

The challenges in the fundraising market are many. Limited partners have limited capital, a high bar on new commitments, and reservations about even some of their very best general partners. Meantime, the significant build-up of GPs in fundraising mode is sure to lead to a prolonged logjam.

Navigating these challenges is the job of Terence Crikelair, a managing partner at placement agency Champlain Advisors LLC. Crikelair co-founded the Greenwich, Conn.-based placement agency in 2003 after initially launching his fund placement career seven years earlier at Credit Suisse First Boston.

At Champlain Advisors, Crikelair is responsible for GP origination and maintaining LP relationships in North America. Globally, Champlain Advisors works with a network of “thousands” of LPs, according to Crikelair.

“We want to be in front of LPs as they are initiating their programs and not just wait to hear about it,” he said. “LPs move from shop to shop quickly these days so it is critical to keep the contacts fresh and the profile current.”

Champlain Advisors is pitched on a new fund nearly every day but the firm typically only executes four to five fundraises at a time, Crikelair said. “This is concentrated compared to other agents but we would rather do fewer deals with 100 percent success than risk upsetting a client with a shoddy execution.”

Judging by the placement agent’s most recent fundraise, the firm is more than capable of navigating today’s market. It wrapped up fundraising in the third quarter of last year for Quantum Energy Partners V, an energy-focused pool that closed on $2.5 billion, a 90 percent increase in size over Quantum Energy Partners’s prior fund, Crikelair said. “We were in front of LPs for about a year and the world went from rosy for a quarter to dead for two quarters, and came back on life support for the last quarter. Fortunately Quantum had no legacy portfolio issues, which gave LPs comfort to commit $500 million-plus after the financial meltdown,” Crikelair said.

Champlain Advisors takes an opportunistic approach when it comes the funds it chooses to back. The firm has a strong history of working with specialist firms—particularly those in the energy sector—though it also works with generalist firms that have some sort of identifiable advantage, be it their stage of investment, approach to diligence or origination, their team depth or regional focus. In terms of size, the firm is not likely to work with funds seeking much less than $200 million on the low end, while funds looking raise billions need to have to have a strategy that justifies that end.

Champlain Advisors has a core team of seven professionals with an additional four that work with the firm internationally on certain deals at various stages of a fundraising. All in, the firm’s core team has raised approximately $20 billion across more than 30 funds throughout their careers.

Contact Info:Phone: 212.686.7949