Venturi Private Wealth collects ~$30m for PE fund-of-funds

The fund-of-funds will generally target lower-mid-market to mid-market buyout and growth funds, with a preference for debuts to Fund III.

Venturi Private Wealth, which manages the assets of high-net-worth individuals and families, is raising a fund-of-funds that will place client money in mostly lower-mid-market and mid-market pools.

Funds-of-funds have somewhat fallen out of fashion among larger, more established LPs. However, such vehicles, which use LP money to make fund commitments and charge lower fees than buyout funds, are still popular among niche communities like wealthy individuals as well as smaller institutions without access to strong managers.

The structure also helps smaller LPs invest in private equity who don’t have to ability to commit directly to funds because of their size. “If you are worth $10 million, how else do you do 10 percent private equity if not a fund-of-fund, one fund with a $1 million minimum?” according to a source with knowledge of the firm.

VIP Alpha Fund I has collected about $30 million, a source told Buyouts. The fund is targeting $100 million.

The firm “is working on some investments in the pipeline for that vehicle,” the source said. The fund-of-funds will generally target lower-mid-market to mid-market buyout and growth funds, with a preference for debuts to Fund III, the source said. The Venturi team will look at “a great, developed manager or larger manager,” as well, the source said.

Venturi hired former Texas Municipal Retirement System private equity director Chris Schelling earlier this year. Schelling joined in March as director of alternative investments, according to his LinkedIn profile. In the role, he is building out the fund-of-funds business, which is called the Alpha strategy.

Venturi also raises private equity funds that invest directly into companies led by Jim Kozlowski, senior managing director of private equity at the firm. The direct team is in market with Venturi Investment Partners II targeting $150 million. Fund II has raised at least about $53 million as of November, according to a Form D fundraising document.

Venturi, formed by ex-Merrill Lynch wealth management executive Russell Norwood in 2015, focuses on working with newly minted high-net-worth individuals who have moved into different levels of wealth, usually through exiting their businesses. The firm manages more than $2.1 billion in client assets.

In November, Venturi announced it sold a minority stake to Bravura Capital, the family office of Kent Weldon, a long-time executive at Thomas H. Lee Partners.