Probitas Partners launched

Probitas Partners has been launched by three former CSFB Private Equity executives. They are Greg Hausler, Michael Hoffman and Craig Marmer. Probitas Partners will offer products and services to the global alternative investment community including private equity funds placement and investment management.

The three partners are based in San Francisco but Mike Hoffman anticipates that the firm will quickly open offices in New York and London – probably in the spring once the investment banking bonus round is over. Offices in continental Europe and Asia will likely follow those two centres, given that the Probitas team endorses the need for international placement capability – consistent with their DLJ/ CSFB past experience.

“We saw an opportunity for an independent dedicated platform. We won’t be targeting mega funds, rather than seeking to raise 20 to 30 funds a year we will concentrate on between six to nine funds in the $300 million to $600 million range,” says Hoffman. Probitas will be an employee-owned enterprise and will operate a two tier fee structure on its placement agent mandates. This will involve straight forward fee compensation, which will be reduced in favour of what Hoffman terms back end compensation: his shorthand for a share in the fund’s upside.

Probitas will carry out considerable screening and due diligence on VCs for which it raises funds aiming to pick the best of breed. For this reason Probitas expects to have a different relationship with institutional investors than would typically be expected of a placement agent.