New Chicago LP association holds second meeting, to talk secondaries

* Luncheon to take place at Adams Street Partners offices

* First meeting in November centered on growth equity

* Association plans to sponsor three meetings per year

It is the second luncheon meeting sponsored by the newly formed group, which plans to hold three such meetings per year. Each promises to be built around a single-topic panel discussion and hosted by a firm with the space and ability to cover the modest costs. Other than speakers and hosts, the meetings are open to limited partners only—including funds of funds. LPs can join the somewhat informal association and attend meetings at no cost.

Early discussions about the association, which uses the acronym CALPA, began about a year ago. That is according to Trey Hart, vice president of private equity at Northern Trust, which hosted the first luncheon meeting, covering the topic of growth equity, at its Chicago offices in November. “We’ve had remarkable participation from across the FoF, family office, insurance company, endowment/foundation and pension community in an around Chicago,” wrote Hart in an email to Buyouts.

In a follow-up phone interview, Hart said that he expects about 50 to 60 people to come to the Thursday meeting based on the rate of RSVPs. That is roughly the same number that attended the debut meeting. Hart, who hatched the concept for the association, co-founded it alongside a small committee of executives at local organizations with an interest in the Chicago private equity scene. 

Hart said the idea is not to put the spotlight on himself or Northern Trust or the other founders. He and his co-founders, he said, simply wanted to address “something missing in the LP community”—opportunities to network and share expertise locally in a “spirit of kind-heartedness” and gratefulness for the “privilege” of working in private equity. ”Unless we see each other at VentureAlpha or NVCA or some conference, we never see each other,” Hart said.

One of the principal goals of CALPA is for Chicago-area LPs to come together to learn about a particular topic, such as the secondary market. But perhaps more important, Hart said, is for investors to meet like-minded people with a common interest or challenge. Those coming to the luncheon meeting on secondaries, for example, might meet people who down the road could become co-parties to a secondary transaction. “It’s about community-building,” said Hart.

Hart estimated the population of institutional investors with private equity programs in the Chicago area at more than 200, pointing to such organizations as Allstate Insurance Co, RCP Advisors and University of Chicago. “It’s a pretty remarkable group of folks that’s here in Chicago.”