With a growing trend towards specialisation in alternative asset classes, clear differentiation has become key to fund managers and investors alike. This trend is being continued in the private placement space by 51 North Capital, an independent advisor focused on Germany, Austria and Switzerland – the DACH region.
The significant and accelerating growth of alternative asset classes continues to encourage specialisation throughout the industry. What was once an environment in which LPs had a small allocation to this non-core part of their overall portfolio and would pick one or two generalist GPs just to fill the spot, is now a diverse landscape of fund managers in which specialisation makes a world of difference.
GPs have certainly adapted to this, realising that one of the key drivers of success is to differentiate effectively in an increasingly competitive environment. Apart from the very successful first-mover generalists who found their place in the market early and are holding that position, most other GPs have specialised in one or another direction. Whether it be a regional or industry focus, or a development towards a more hands-on approach to active value creation, specialisation has become a proven route to success – not only for winning LP commitments but, more importantly, in accessing attractive transactions and unlocking value.
LPs likewise have pursued more nuanced approaches to portfolio construction, picking specialist managers in key niches to supplement core holdings.
This broader trend towards specialisation is also being brought to the fundraising landscape. While many private placement firms have established themselves as global generalists and continue to be the right partners for many GPs, there is a growing space for advisors with a more targeted approach.
That is why Christian von Massenbach, former Managing Director in Evercore’s private placement group with responsibility for the DACH region, and Fabian Pötter, who co-headed one of Europe’s largest infrastructure investment platforms at Golding Capital Partners, decided to join forces at 51 NORTH – a regionally focused placement agent covering LPs in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.
“As we have seen the alternatives asset space develop over the past decade, the importance of specialisation has become increasingly apparant. We’ve seen it in the GPs we’ve advised and invested with, respectively, and we’re excited to now offer the same specialised approach to GPs seeking partners in our region of focus,” said Christian von Massenbach, who brings over 21 years’ experience covering the DACH LP community across private equity, infrastructure and private debt.
As German nationals who have spent their careers in the region, the Partners pursue a “local-to-local” approach, designed to allow complete focus on a market where they have deep, trusted relationships and can offer genuine insight. The DACH region has the scale and growth required to support such a dedicated approach, comprising strong economies such as Germany – the largest economy in Europe and 4th largest globally – with an LP market that is well established but also growing, through new entrants and expanding alternatives allocations.
With the background of its founders, 51 NORTH’s offering not only includes regionally focused distribution capabilities but also a strong strategic advisory component. Working with GPs before their launch allows 51 NORTH to help shape their messaging and provide insight into what DACH LPs are looking for.
“After years investing in funds and co-investments as an LP, reviewing hundreds of offerings with different strategies, sales pitches and partnership terms, I’m excited to bring the target audience’s perspective directly to GPs,” stated Fabian Pötter, who brings over 18 years’ investment experience, most recently as Co-Head of Infrastructure at Golding Capital Partners.
The regionally focused approach allows the Partners to engage with investors at a deeper level, ensuring that LPs are only introduced to opportunities that are additive to their portfolio, while simultaneously offering GPs insight into LP portfolios and advising on how to position themselves appropriately, address key regional trends (such as the growing focus on ESG that is especially prevalent in the DACH region) and strengthen their capital base with the right partners.
The concept has sparked significant interest in the GP market, and 51 NORTH is launching with mandates in place across all of its target asset classes.
About 51 NORTH
51 North Capital is an independent, regionally focused placement agent and advisor founded by Christian von Massenbach, former Managing Director in Evercore’s private placement group, and Fabian Pötter, who co-headed one of Europe’s largest infrastructure investment platforms at Golding Capital Partners. We focus solely on institutional investors in Germany, Austria and Switzerland (the DACH region), where we have long-standing, trusted relationships. We understand our LPs’ goals and preferences and proactively seek to partner with GPs whose products we believe will be attractive in our market. While our investor coverage is purposefully regional, our GP clients are global and diverse. We have deep experience across alternative asset classes, with a particular focus on Private Equity, Infrastructure and Private Debt.
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