Eaton Partners Forms Secondary Advisory Business

Hillary Canada

April 11, 2014


Placement agent Eaton Partners is seeking to get a piece of the secondary-market action by hiring a team of executives from Atlantic-Pacific Capital.

Rowayton, Conn.-based Eaton said it hired Michael Pilson , Alexander Mejia and Kevin Imhoff to lead a newly formed secondary advisory group.

The new business comes as the secondary market heats up. “As the private equity industry continues to mature, we believe that secondary activity will become increasingly prevalent,” the firm said in a news release.

Eaton Partners Partner Jeff Eaton said the secondary advisory business is complementary to what the firm already is doing, and isn’t a shift away from its primary business of raising money for general partners.

“We’re still bullish on the primary business,” he said.

Most recently, the placement agent has advised general partners including Ridgewood Energy and Monitor Clipper Partners..

“We’re already talking to a lot of the same people,” said Mr. Eaton. “We’ve ended up talking to [general partners] who might be interested in raising money for a new fund and may have some structural issues or [limited partners] that no longer want to be in the existing fund; it seemed like a missed opportunity to help those folks.”

In Eaton’s view, those types of situations, as well as secondary transactions in general, are going to continue to become more common.

“We think the market for secondary transactions is only going to increase,” said Mr. Eaton. “It already has increased drastically over the past few years.”

For its part, Atlantic-Pacific also plans to continue pursuing such transactions, despite the departure of the trio of executives.

“We continue to selectively and strategically participate in the secondary advisory business, as we did prior to these guys joining,” Atlantic-Pacific Partner Alex Leykikh wrote in an email.

Before running the advisory business at Atlantic-Pacific, Mr. Pilson worked with DuPont Capital Management . Mr. Mejia previously worked in private equity at Credit Suisse Group . Mr. Imhoff is formerly of Goldman Sachs Group Inc.


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