Panorama Fund Comes Into View

JPMorgan Partners (JPMP) announced in March that it would spin off from parent bank J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., with both its venture capital and later-stage/buyouts teams forming independent firms. That process is now underway, with the VC group to begin raising its inaugural fund next month under the name Panorama Capital.

In its initial announcement months ago, JPMP said that the spinouts would begin when each group was nearing the end of their dry powder allocation from the $6.5 billion JPMorgan Global Investors fund that closed in 2001. The firm also said that the VC group likely would need capital sooner than would the later-stage/buyout group, because it only had $250 million of uncommitted capital left from its $750 million allocation. Enough of that $250 million remains for the VC group to add new portfolio companies, but it is being particularly selective, given its plans to begin fund-raising.

Panorama Capital will maintain JPMP’s venture focus on early stage and expansion-stage companies in the information technology and life sciences sectors, while also continuing to manage the existing JPMP venture portfolio. Most of its deals will be in the United States, but it may also focus on a small handful of international deals in such countries as Canada, China and India.

No fund size details have emerged, although JPMP venture chief Shahan Soghikian said in a March interview that the fund would be at least $400 million, but well south of Global Investors fund’s $750 million allocation. J.P. Morgan Chase is expected to take a limited partner position, as are the California Public Employees’ Retirement System, the State of Michigan and the Canadian Pension Plan Investment Board.

Soghikian will be one of five general partners of San Francisco-based Panorama Capital, alongside Chris Albinson, Srinivas Akkaraju, Rodney Ferguson and Damion Wicker (who recently moved from New York to the West Coast).

The later-stage/buyout team is expected to begin fund-raising at the beginning of next year. Jeffrey Walker will keep his managing partner title, while Arnie Chavkin will remain as CIO and Steve Murray will continue to run the leveraged buyout group.