Wafra: partner selection is crucial in a stake sale

How the investor will behave in post-investment and in tough times is important, says the firm's Daniel Adamson.

Daniel Adamson

Wafra Capital has backed 16 GPs since 2011, investing across the GP lifecycle. Daniel Adamson, senior managing director, says the organization is looking for “defensible franchises in asset classes and strategies that have enduring value for asset owners around the world.

“Most of these GPs are closely held partnerships, sometimes family-owned. We find that the best of them are looking to partner with long-term capital, rather than financial institutions.

“If you have the mindset to build an enduring franchise, you want a capital base that matches that. We will do relatively few deals and they will be ones in which we have an alignment in terms of the timeframe – generational – and an alignment on the economics.

“If I had one piece of advice for GPs considering one of these transactions, it would be this: partner selection is crucial, and it often can’t be reversed. Heavily reference the partner you are considering, especially with respect to how they behave post-investment and especially when times are not easy.

“We tend to eschew broker-led processes. This is a small world. There is a finite universe of potential targets in the mature stakes market: hundreds rather than thousands. It is possible to be aware of nearly every transaction as an active participant without relying on intermediaries.”