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Happy Friday! 

It’s Chris, capping off this gorgeous May week. Next week I’ll be heading to Washington, DC for the EMPEA/IFC annual global private equity conference – one of my favorite events of the year. There’s nothing like Washington in the spring. Let me know if you’re going. 

Fundless: Spending most of my time chatting with LPs about what they’re seeing in the market, I generally hear about new funds and interesting products GPs are working on. I also hear a lot about new firms trying to raise their first funds. 

Lately though sources have been telling me about executives coming out of bigger shops or banks forming independent sponsors. LPs these days seem a lot more receptive to getting into business with fundless sponsors. Sort of like co-investments, this relationship gives LPs direct exposure into a deal on what are likely very friendly economics. 

This week I wrote about a former Goldman Sachs private equity executive, Gilbert Klemann, who left the bank earlier this year and formed GHK Capital Partners. The firm is working on closing its first deal and is exploring other opportunities. Klemann eventually wants to raise a traditional PE fund. Check out my story here

LP power: When asking about sexual harassment in private equity, I hear a common refrain that change needs to come from limited partners. The people controlling the money can put maximum pressure on managers to change their cultures, address sexual harassment and make sure these types of issues get some focus through the ranks.

The unfortunate fact is that LPs have not put much, if any, focus on digging out incidents of sexual harassment. This silence helps protect senior executives who should be booted out of a firm for inappropriate behavior.

Possibly, though, that mindset is changing. A recent survey helps illustrate how institutional investors have been silent and how they can put more focus on uncovering sexual harassment at managers they’re considering investing in.

The survey was done in response to institutional investor questions about how they should approach questioning managers about sexual harassment, according to Andrew Borowiec, executive director of the Investment Management Due Diligence Association.

These questions arose as the #metoo movement emerged and numerous high-profile men were drummed out of their positions amid allegations of sexual misbehavior.

“Like most people, [institutional investors] were caught off guard by the #metoo movement and they didn’t know if they should be asking about it,” Borowiec said. “They were asking about the culture of the fund but not specifically about harassment.”

“One of the reasons we created this survey — we were getting a lot of inbound questions,” he said. “They were asking, ‘I need to start looking into this, what questions should I be asking?’”

The survey, conducted earlier this year, included responses from 78 institutional investors representing endowments, pensions, insurance companies, private banks and fund-of-funds. They refer to assessments of alternative asset managers, including private equity, venture capital, real estate and hedge funds.

The headline number here is that 89 percent of respondents do not inquire about sexual harassment in the workplace. Along those lines, 81 percent of respondents don’t ask if any executives have had complaints filed against them by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission or the Human Rights Commission.

Many LPs have told Buyouts anecdotally they don’t ask specifically about sexual harassment.

“I’m a lot more focused on what’s the culture of the firm, what kind of practices do you have regardless of any one complaint or one issue. Is it an inclusive culture, a culture of respect, a culture where it’s ok to have differing opinions? Not just for sexual harassment but any sort of conduct you have in a firm,” a pension LP said in a recent interview.

Read the full piece here

Have a great weekend! Hit me up with tips n’ gossip, feedback, Scotch and book recommendations or just to chat at cwitkowsky@buyoutsinsider.com, on Twitter @chriswitkowsky or find me on LinkedIn. Also use our anonymous tip box on PE HUB if you got the paranoia. 

Housekeeping:
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Check out PE Hub’s new Healthcare Wire, which delivers private equity and M&A healthcare deal activity, fundraising news, people moves, regulatory updates and much more every Thursday. Subscribe now! It’s FREE.
 

 
Today's  Take  
 

PE HUB First Read

First Read ends the week with news that Spotify has cut R. Kelly's music from playlists following sexual misconduct allegations, net neutrality expires on June 11 and Daniel Loeb's hedge fund in talks to form SPAC.
Read more...  

PE HUB Second Opinion

In Second Opinion, Eli Lilly is acquiring Armo BioSciences for about $1.6 billion, Rolls-Royce unveils its first SUV and Congress releases Facebook ads bought by Russians to dupe U.S. voters.
Read more...  

PE HUB Healthcare Wire Highlights, 5.10.18

Seed - Athenahealth is in play. Could private equity pony up?
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PE HUB Wire Highlights, 5.10.18

Ex-Goldman PE executive forms independent sponsor; New Mountain to sell Alexander Mann for $1.1 bln; Area One Farms raising two funds
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U.S. investors receive more in compensation than their peers in Europe, Canada: survey

Next to IRRs, salary and carry distributions are perhaps the most important numbers at a venture firm and among the most closely-guarded. The results of a new survey from entrepreneur and former L Capital Partners Associate John Gannon, who runs a venture capital job listing site, dispel some of the opacity surrounding compensation in the VC community, […]
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Madison Dearborn-backed Evo Payments to price IPO later this month

Evo Payments looks as if it will go public later this month, after reigniting its IPO plans in April. Evo on May 10 set terms for its pending offering. The Atlanta company is selling 14 million shares at $14 to $16 each. Evo is slated to price its IPO on May 22 and begin trading […]
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Most LPs don’t ask about sexual harassment when assessing a manager: survey

It’s a common refrain when asking about sexual harassment in private equity that change needs to come from limited partners. The people controlling the money can put maximum pressure on managers to change their cultures, address sexual harassment and make sure these types of issues get some focus through the ranks. The unfortunate fact is […]
Read more...  

Brockway Moran’s urgent-care platform MD Now seeks sale

Brockway Moran & Partners is in the midst of a sales process for MD Now, the urgent-care network that dominates much of the South Florida market, according to five sources. Houlihan Lokey is offering sell-side advice on the auction, some of the sources said. The West Palm Beach, Florida, company generated trailing 12-month Ebitda of […]
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Imperial Capital earns 3.5x its money with Dentalcorp deal

Imperial Capital Group more than tripled the money it put into Dental Corp of Canada following L Catterton’s investment in the company, a person with knowledge of the matter told Buyouts. Dentalcorp, Canada’s largest network of dental clinics, last week said it raised a significant investment from L Catterton. Terms weren’t disclosed. The deal generated 3.5x Imperial’s nearly four-year investment, which translates into […]
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Complimentary Webinar


Limited partners have little tolerance for fund managers that aren’t up to speed on their cybersecurity and privacy requirements. Fall behind in these critical areas and your days raising institutional money will be numbered. 

Don’t miss a special, 75-minute webinar, PE/VC Best Practices: Putting LPs at Ease on Cybersecurity and IT Outsourcing, at 11AM ET on May 10.

Register Here

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VC Deals 
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Cryptogoods marketplace OpenSea inks $2 mln

OpenSea, a marketplace for cryptogoods, has secured $2 million in funding, according to a blog post. The investors included Founders Fund, 1confirmation, Foundation Capital, Blockchain Capital, Coinbase Ventures, Chernin Group, Stable Fund and Blockstack.
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Investing app Robinhood racks up $363 mln Series D

Investing app Robinhood has raised $363 million in Series D funding, according to a blog post on its site. DST Global led the round with participation other investors that included Iconiq, Capital G, Sequoia Capital and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers.
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Perch snaps up $30 mln Series A

New York and Texas-based Perch, a marketplace for buying and selling homes, has raised $30 million in Series A financing. FirstMark Capital led the round with participation from Juxtapose and Accomplice. In addition to the funding, Rick Heitzmann, founder and managing director of FirstMark, will join the Perch board of directors.
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Mobile performance advertising startup Moloco scores $11 mln Series B

Moloco, a mobile performance advertising startup, has secured $11 million in Series B funding. Samsung Ventures and Draper Athena led the round with participation from Mirae Asset Management, Smilegate Investment and KTB Ventures.
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Stem cell company Forever Labs attracts $2 mln

Forever Labs, a company that banks young adult stem cells, has secured $2 million in funding. The investors included Northwestern Mutual, Silicon Badia Ventures, Babel Ventures and DogVacay CEO and founder Aaron Hirschhorn.
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PROMOTE YOUR BRAND! GENERATE AWARENESS!  SELL YOUR PRODUCTS & SERVICES! 
 
Don't miss the opportunity to get in front of key Private Equity decision makers by showcasing your company, products and services in upcoming issues of Buyouts and VCJ
 
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Silverfleet agrees to buy industrial resins business Prefere Resins

Silverfleet Capital agreed to buy a majority stake in Germany-based Prefere Resins Holding, which makes resins used as binding agents in the industrial and construction sectors. The deal is subject to regulatory approval. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. The acquisition is Silverfleet's eighth from its current fund and its third in Germany.
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1K1V provides funding to HEPSA

Higher Ed Partners South Africa, an online education company in Johannesburg, South Africa, has secured an undisclosed amount of funding. The investor was One Thousand & One Voices.
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LaSalle Capital funds Fresh Origins

LaSalle Capital has made an investment in San Marcos, California-based Fresh Origins, a grower of microgreens and edible flowers in North America. No financial terms were disclosed.
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Board game company Asmodee explores sale, say sources: Reuters

Asmodee Group, the French maker of board game Catan and distributor of Pokemon cards in parts of Europe, is exploring a sale that could value it at more than 1.5 billion euros ($1.7 billion), sources told Reuters.
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Advent Intl shopping its stake in Avianca mileage program, say sources: Reuters

Buyout firm Advent International Corp has hired Morgan Stanley to sell its stake in the loyalty program of airline Avianca Holdings SA, sources told Reuters.
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NewSpring invests in urgent care centers operator Vybe

NewSpring has made an investment in Vybe, an operator of urgent care centers based in the Greater Philadelphia region. No financial terms were disclosed for the investment that was made along with the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine. In conjunction with the funding, Dr. Kapila Ratnam of NewSpring and Dr. Jay S. Feldstein of PCOM will join Vybe’s board of directors.
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Huron Capital invests in Direct Connect Logistix

Huron Capital has made an investment in Indianapolis-based Direct Connect Logistix, a transportation and logistics services company. No financial terms were disclosed.
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Have you participated in the best one-on-one meetings program offered at Private Equity and Venture Capital conferences?
 
 
The ExecConnect Private Meeting program actively arranges one-on-one meetings between LPs looking to commit capital and GPs looking to raise it. The 20-minute meetings are pre-scheduled by conference directors ensuring you meet with executives who best match your fundraising and investment goals. All told $1B+ has been raised through our program by our participants in the last three years.
IPOs
 
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AXA’s U.S. arm raises $2.75 billion in IPO, misses target: Reuters

French insurer AXA SA’s (AXAF.PA) initial public offering (IPO) of its U.S. division raised $2.75 billion on Wednesday by pricing at $20 per share, below its targeted range of $24-$27 per share, the company said.
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Spain’s Azora suspends IPO citing Blackstone’s Hispania deal: Reuters

Property manager Azora Altus (AZRA.MC) is dropping its planned market debut and postponing a listing on the Spanish stock exchange amid uncertainty arising from Blackstone’s (BX.N) bid for its Hispania (HIS.MC) real-estate business, Reuters reported.
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M&A Deals  
 
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Palladium to sell Pronto Insurance to Risk Placement Services

Palladium Equity Partners LLC has agreed to sell Pronto Holdco LLC, the parent company of Pronto Insurance, to Risk Placement Services Inc., a unit of Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. No financial terms were disclosed. William Blair & Company was financial adviser to Pronto on the deal. Pronto is a provider of personal automobile insurance for consumers throughout Texas, California and Florida, with a special focus on serving the Hispanic community.
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PE-backed Opus Agency buys MAS Event + Design

Opus Agency, a portfolio company of Growth Catalyst Partners, has acquired Brooklyn, New York and Los Angeles-based MAS Event + Design, an experiential design and production company. No financial terms were disclosed.
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PE-backed Colony Hardware Corp buys Brinker Brown

Colony Hardware Corp, a portfolio company of Tailwind Capital Group LLC, has acquired Florida-based Brinker Brown Fastener & Supply Inc, a provider of fasteners, diamonds, power tools, construction supplies and generators. No financial terms were disclosed. Mesirow Financial was financial adviser to Brinker Brown on the deal.
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PE-backed Atlantic Street Capital buys Oneland

Uniguest, which is backed by Atlantic Street Capital, has acquired UK-based Oneland, a digital signage and visual communications company. No financial terms were disclosed. 7 Mile Advisors advised Uniguest on the deal.
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PE-backed Rotating Machinery Services acquires ACC

Rotating Machinery Services, a portfolio company of Incline Equity Partners, has acquired AC Compressor and CONMEC Engineered Compressors from Baker Hughes. No financial terms were disclosed; however, Twin Brook provided financing to support the acquisition.
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PE-backed Aveanna to buy Premier Healthcare Services

Aveanna Healthcare, which is backed by Bain Capital and J.H. Whitney, has agreed to acquire Pasadena, California-based Premier Healthcare Services, a provider of pediatric services. No financial terms were disclosed. The deal is expected to close in mid-to-late June. Edge Healthcare Partners was financial adviser to Aveanna on the transaction while Lincoln International did likewise for Premier.
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Kian-backed Empire Equipment makes two acquisitions

Empire Equipment Company, which is backed by Kian Capital, has acquired Phoenix-based TruTemp Equipment and California-based Norm's Refrigeration, both of which provide commercial food service equipment and aftermarket parts for the food service, hospitality, healthcare and retail industries. No financial terms were disclosed.
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Riverside acquires DoseLogix as an add-on

The Riverside Company has acquired Georgia-based DoseLogix, a provider of metered dosing dispensers and applicators to compound pharmacies, as an add-on for its Team Technologies platform. No financial terms were disclosed. Jones Day and KPMG served as legal counsel and accounting adviser, respectively, on the transaction while Antares and Ares provided the incremental financing.
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PE-backed Zyrofisher buys Royal Velo France

Palatine Private Equity-backed Zyrofisher has acquired Royal Velo France, a distributor of cycling parts and accessories in France. No financial terms were disclosed.
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Real Estate
 
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Platform Ventures home builder Scott Felder Homes

Platform Ventures has acquired Central Texas-based home builder Scott Felder Homes. No financial terms were disclosed.
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RealtyMogul invests $4.9 mln in two shopping malls

RealtyMogul has invested a total of $4.9 million in two shopping centers. The transactions include $3 million in a Waterbury, Connecticut-based mall and $1.9 million in a retail center located in Orange County, California.
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TTHFD Investments acquires Waco, Texas apartment property from PPA Group

The PPA Group has sold Waco, Texas-based Arlington Farms, an apartment rental complex, to TTHFD Investments LLC. No financial terms were disclosed. Moses Siller and Scott LaMontagne of JLL represented The PPA Group on the transaction.
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Firms & Funds
 
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BGH, formed by ex-TPG, Macquarie execs, closes debut fund on $2 bln

BGH Capital, formed by ex-TPG and Macquarie Capital executives, closed its debut fund on A$2.6 billion ($2 billion) for investments in New Zealand and Australia. BGH was formed by Ben Gray and Simon Harle, formerly of TPG, and Robin Bishop, former head of Australia and New Zealand at Macquarie. Kirkland & Ellis represented BGH in the fundraising.
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Keiretsu Capital secures $4.2 million first close of a blockchain fund of funds

Keiretsu Capital said it completed a $4.2 million first close of a blockchain fund of funds and anticipates a second close in June, with commitments so far of $1.5 million.
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Entrée Capital wraps up sophomore Israel-focused early-stage fund at $80 mln

Entrée Capital has closed its second Israeli-focused early-stage fund at $80 million. Also, the venture firm has hired Ran Achituv as a managing partner and promoted Eran Bielski to general partner. Entrée Capital has offices in London, San Francisco and Herzliya, Israel.
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Human Resources
 
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Rothschild Global Advisory adds two managing directors to team

Rothschild Global Advisory has hired Sumner Farren and Sara Coyle as managing directors in its Chicago office. Their appointments will become effective in late June. Previously, Farren worked at UBS where he was a managing director responsible for the firm’s sellside M&A activities in North America while Coyle was also at UBS where she was a […]
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Odds & Ends + Hot Links 
 
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PE HUB First Read

First Read ends the week with news that Spotify has cut R. Kelly's music from playlists following sexual misconduct allegations, net neutrality expires on June 11 and Daniel Loeb's hedge fund in talks to form SPAC.
Read more...  

New investment bank XLS Partners launches

XLS Partners, a new independent investment banking firm that provides M&A advisory, capital raising and debt advisory services, has launched. Robert Contaldo is serving as the firm's chairman. XLS will be a member of the Geneva Capital Group. 
Read more...  

PE HUB Second Opinion

In Second Opinion, Eli Lilly is acquiring Armo BioSciences for about $1.6 billion, Rolls-Royce unveils its first SUV and Congress releases Facebook ads bought by Russians to dupe U.S. voters.
Read more...  

PE HUB Healthcare Wire Highlights, 5.10.18

Seed - Athenahealth is in play. Could private equity pony up?
Read more...  

Blockchain Valley Ventures debuts

Blockchain Valley Ventures, a Swiss accelerator and venture firm focused on blockchain-enabled businesses, has launched. Heinrick Zetlmayer and Oliver Bussmann are serving as partners. BVV is backed by Lykke Corp.
Read more...  

PE HUB Wire Highlights, 5.10.18

Ex-Goldman PE executive forms independent sponsor; New Mountain to sell Alexander Mann for $1.1 bln; Area One Farms raising two funds
Read more...  
   
     
     
     
   
     
   
     
   
     
   
     
 
 
   
 
   
 
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