And finally…

Golfing around

The Spanish island of Majorca is known for its glorious sunshine, pristine beaches, and World Heritage site. In the world of secondaries, it’s also known as the location of an exclusive buyers’ retreat.

The event, held at the end of summer by advisory firm Greenhill Cogent, attracts some of the sector’s best and brightest players, and we don’t just mean in terms of deal sourcing and execution. And Finally hears that attendees can choose either golf, tennis or hiking as an activity, with golf being the least popular. Why? No one likes being beaten by Scottish secondaries execs who have the game running through their veins.

And who would, when SL Capital Partners is teeing off in front of you? Word has it Standard Life’s private equity unit boasts a host of highly skilled linksmen and that in recent years, attendees have preferred hiking up a vertical mountain to a leisurely round.

Of course, Majorca isn’t the only date in the secondaries calendar when participants get together to relax and chew the fat – a certain annual ski retreat in Utah springs to mind, as do the buyers’ dinners arranged on either side of summer, one by advisory firm Campbell Lutyens, the other by Toronto’s Setter Capital. And Finally will let readers decide which of these sources describe as the more “interesting” affair.

Back to the Med and it’s not just SL Capital who clean up on the golf course – word has it that a London member of Goldman Sachs’ alternative investments unit is a semi-pro. No doubt Cogent’s retreat is the rare occasion secondaries buyers would be happy with par.

Playing dress-up

When a university friend of AP7 chief executive Richard Grottheim recently told the Financial Times about a memorable time when Grottheim skied down the slopes of Jämtland dressed as James Bond, it got pfm thinking about other private fund figures that have a penchant for fancy dress.

The team fondly remembers when Mounir Guen, founder and chief executive of advisory firm MVision, descended from the ceiling of a venue in London’s Leicester Square dressed as James Bond for his 50th birthday party. If that wasn’t enough, he descended to the Batman theme music, in a room that resembled a real-life bat cave.

Then there was the time a member of the team stumbled across a poster of Michael Hoffman, co-founder of Palamon Capital Partners, dressed up period clothing and posing next to a 1932 Model Y Ford 8 motor car in the Museum of London. Hoffman wasn’t simply flaunting his love of dressing-up in a public; he was actually chair of the Museum of London Development Board at the time, and was taking part in an exhibition called Flashback, by photographer Tom Hunter, which required him to dress up as a City merchant, circa 1750.