Willowridge Closes Fourth Fund

New York-based secondary firm Willowridge closed its fourth fund, Amberbrook IV, with $135 million in commitments.

The fund had a target of $125 million. Willowridge’s previous fund, Amberbrook III, raised $75 million in 2000.

The new fund is comprised largely of previous investors with some new LPs coming aboard. Willowridge takes no pension money, which makes it rare among veteran secondary firms. Willowridge’s LPs consist of endowments, foundations and individual investors.

President Jerry Newman says that some of the new investors the firm attracted are also investors in the fund-of-funds market. He notes that many FoFs are calling down capital at a slow rate and LPs are realizing that they could put money to work faster and get distributions sooner through the secondary market. Because the Willowridge fund broke the $100 million mark, he says that the firm reduced its management and carry fees. This fund has a longer, five-year investment period. Amberbrook III had a four-year investment period.

Willowridge has already made several purchases with its new fund. It bought some remaining assets from a large financial institution that sold most of its private equity assets in an auction. Willowridge also purchased some private equity assets from a European institution and it bought some investments from individual investors.

Newman says that the firm’s fourth fund will maintain an even mix between buyout and venture assets, although the previous fund was tilted to venture purchases.

Willowridge was founded in 1995 and has purchased positions in more than 170 funds. The firm has three investment professionals and is looking to add a principal. It mostly focuses on deals in the United States.

Email Matthew.Sheahan@thomson.com