New secondary fund launches

The small band of independent Europe-based secondaries players has been swelled by the formation of Greenpark Capital, established by CEO Marleen Groen, who left Coller Capital earlier this year. Joining Marleen Groen at Greenpark is another ex-Coller veteran, Joanna Jordan, who headed the firm’s investor relations and who will be Greenpark’s director of operations and investor relations. The third executive is Guy Brennan. He and Marleen Groen worked together at AMRO Bank (now ABN AMRO) and have known each other for 15 years. The Greenpark team will be expanded to seven or eight within the next few months.

Swiss alternative assets fund manager RMF Investment Group has taken a small minority stake in the Greenpark Guernsey-domiciled management company and will act as sponsor to Greenpark’s maiden fund, which is due for launch shortly with a target of $200 million. Like most secondary funds, Greenpark will buy fund positions from and in Europe and the US, with the final split of assets being determined by opportunity rather than pre-set.

Marleen Groen is confident that Greenpark will be able to source ample opportunities: “The market is growing up, which will lead to more secondaries and even, over time, to tertiaries. There are a few billion dollars, no more, available in the secondaries market, and a large slice of that liquidity can be absorbed in a single transaction, as has been demonstrated first by the Shell and then by the NatWest portfolio sales”.

Greenpark, Groen claims, has found “a new and interesting way of executing secondaries transactions but for the time being, only our investors will be told exactly what that means”.

Exclusive access to opportunities is as important for secondary as for primary funds. Greenpark, says Groen, intends to capitalise on the team’s European cultural and language skills and proven ability to execute to establish a proprietary deal flow.

RMF is currently seeking to strengthen its presence in the private equity market. Mark Dentand, head of private equity at RMF, says that Greenpark fits well with this strategy because RMF’s ambition is to cover the entire alternative assets arena. Greenpark provides a specialist know-how in secondaries, which we wanted to access and use in our products”. Greenpark, meanwhile, will use RMF’s network for deal flow. Marleen Groen will serve as a member of RMF’s private equity investment committees. As part of its expansion into the private equity market, RMF is itself now launching a $100 million primary fund-of-funds in which it will invest $20 million of its own money. It will cover venture capital and buyout funds in both Europe and the US. The idea is to provide a core position in private equity for investors in the vehicle, which is targeted primarily at new entrants and mid-sized clients.

RMF will also make a significant investment in the Greenpark fund.