Turner Goes Down Hamilton Lane

Hamilton Lane Alternative Investment Solutions hired Turner Investment Partners Marketing Director Mike Thompson April 3 to handle marketing and business development for the Hamilton Lane Advisors joint venture.

Recognizing the difficulties that small to medium-size institutional investors face when trying to enter the alternative investment arena, Hamilton Lane Advisors teamed up with former hedge fund manager Patrick Egan to create products that are more liquid and easily accessible to investors with smaller in-house staffs.

“The drawing-down process of investing, all the money that is chasing the alternatives market which makes it difficult for newcomers to gain access, the handling of due diligence… has made it difficult for non-behemoth plan sponsors to get into alternatives,” Thompson said. “This structure sets up a… liquidity vehicle, and [the plan sponsor] will be immediately invested in the asset class once they’ve committed.”

As the venture’s first dedicated marketer, Thompson said he will focus on pension, endowment, foundation and other institutional plan sponsors with $100 million or more in assets. The minimum for pooled investments is $5 million with $50 million dedicated to separate accounts, Egan said.

The firm offers a long-term portfolio that focuses on private equity opportunities through partnerships and direct investments, as well as a more liquid hedge fund-of-funds-type vehicle that is made up of relative value hedge directional and event-driven funds.

Egan joined Hamilton Lane in December, 1998, and last year developed the products along with Hamilton Lane’s investment staff. About six months ago the strategies were launched and Egan began searching for a marketer.

“Pat was a hedge fund investor, a former bond trader… and he’ll be structuring the various portfolios,” Thompson said. “I bring my institutional contacts and hopefully some new business.”

Thompson joined Berwyn, Pa.-based Turner Investment in 1991, one year after its inception and when the firm had only $200 million in assets under management. Its institutional business has since grown to roughly $10 billion since that time.

Thompson reported to Stephen Kneeley, chief operating officer, who said that the firm is currently interviewing two internal and three external candidates to fill his position.

Before arriving at Turner, Thompson worked as a consultant for SEI Corp. from 1987 to 1991 and before that marketed for Fidelity Investments.

The 55-member staff at Hamilton Lane, which has $30 billion in assets under management, will provide much of the back-office support and investment research for the Alternative Investment Solutions venture. Thompson said that initially he will not be adding additional marketing and client service professionals; Egan is looking to grow the five-member investment staff.

In mid-February, the firm welcomed its first client. Crown Cork & Seal Co. awarded half of its new alternatives allocation, roughly $90 million, to the hedge fund product.