Worst Secondary Fund?

Besides Whitewhores Liquishit Partners, which groups have the worst combination of returns, culture, and compensation? LGT?

Comments (48)

  • Senior VP in IB-M&A
Jan 14, 2022 - 10:51am

What about Fart Bridge (now Landpoop)? Landpoop's returns have sucked major donkey Kong balls for years. Maybe the new Coller partner can help with the Ares acquisition.

  • Senior VP in IB-M&A
Jan 14, 2022 - 11:38am

Here are my experiences:

Hamsandwich (out in back woods PA): pay is brutally bad, a few morons at the senior level, especially on the co-invest side.

LGT: probably the biggest pricks in the industry.

Until you get to VP I find the pay at secondary funds to be way worse on the buy side than sell side, which is insane to me.

  • Senior VP in IB-M&A
Jan 14, 2022 - 12:51pm

Auda/HQ capital. Those have been awful for years. No idea how they're raising money. Coller is also pretty bad yet they consistently raise mega funds. Commonfart pay is terrible and their carry is only 10% - run by an old hag.

  • Analyst 1 in PE - Other
Jan 14, 2022 - 12:53pm

I love how you couldn't come up with a derogatory name for HQC lol

  • Senior VP in IB-M&A
Jan 14, 2022 - 1:01pm

Ya that was a tough one.

I happen to work for a real cunty secondary fund but not as a cunty as some of these groups.

Jan 15, 2022 - 2:13am

Can't comment on Ardian specifically, but know for a fact that every respectable player has been levering to the tits - at their fund and / or deal SPV level - for the past decade. You would be a fool not to in a low interest rate environment and with banks being so accommodative…

Haven't heard the greatest things about Coller and Whitehorse's culture and returns

  • VP in IB-M&A
Jan 14, 2022 - 11:22pm

Those guys suck the big one. Whitewhores Liquishit Partners makes senior debt funds returns look good.

Committed Advisors has some of the worst pay in the industry.

Jan 16, 2022 - 7:51pm

I've been a lurker for quite a long time on these forums, especially on the secondary PE side of discussions. This specific thread doesn't have a lot of substance, but I'll offer some genuine feedback based on working in this sector for quite a long time.There are a lot of funds that continually raise significant capital and have mediocre to subpar returns. These, to me, would be the blue-chip names like Landmark, Lexington, Goldman, Strat Partners, Coller, Pantheon, HarbourVest, Portfolio Advisors. They are the beta-buyers of large portfolio and use substantial leverage to make their returns.Players like Kline Hill, who raise slightly smaller funds and focus on smaller deals at deeper discounts, is in my opinion, a way better value proposition for an LP and better access point to the market. Last I heard, one of Kline Hill's funds was at like a net 1.9x+ and had over 200 deals in them - you can't say the same for the likes of Coller that will be doing an unlevered 1.3x and then recycle up to a 1.4x and levere up to a 1.6x.

  • Associate 1 in IB - Cov
Jan 17, 2022 - 10:41am

Thanks for your comprehensive responses. What are your thoughts on StepStone?

Also, what are your thoughts on GP stakes? Seems like an interesting niche within the buyside and has comparable skill set to those in secondaries (LP stakes) / FoF generally.

What kind of comp can one expect in secondaries and GP stakes at VP level and above?

Most Helpful
Jan 17, 2022 - 2:05pm


I commented on them in another thread, but I think they're a good organization - I consider them more of a traditional LP that has funds-of-funds that does secondaries as well as some very large segregated accounts for pensions. They're quite active and opportunistic sellers - I've seen a variety of lower mid-market funds being sold through the likes of Setter Capital time and time again. Pricing expectations are often too high. I don't consider them a real player in secondaries but there are worse shops out there, that's for sure. If you had a job offer I'd probably want to be more on the direct co-invest side than fund secondaries or primaries.


I wasn't sure if you were referring to acquiring GP-stakes (like Dyal) or if you meant 'GP-led transactions'. Assuming you meant the latter, wow that's a can of worms and we should dedicate a thread unto its own on GP-led deals. Here are a few thoughts:

1. GP-led deals are very similar someone that underwrites co-invests. You're not taking an active role in driving value for a company, you're still a passive secondary market buyer and there is a GP in there to do all that work. Still, it's more involved underwriting than traditional LP-stake secondaries due to the concentrated nature of the investment.

2. Given how these investments cashflows (usually 1-2 bullet payments over 3-6 years) it's a much lumpier cash flow profile, and naturally much riskier. Given that secondaries have traditionally been more of an IRR play (versus MOIC), funds have had to use sometimes considerable leverage and recycling to really drive money multiples. GP-led deals should help with MOIC generation but it back weights cashflows and adds a lot of volatility.

3. GP-led deals are nothing new - Goldman and Morgan Stanley have been doing them for years. I think the right way to access them is through a fund that does both LP and GP-led deals. A combination of both will provide the benefit of cash-yield through the LP-stake deals, and should hopefully lower the use of leverage as a lot of the MOIC generation can come from more concentrated plays.

4. If you're asking me which group is doing this strategy well, then I don't have a particular answer for you - it's too early to really see how a lot of these GP-led focused funds will pan out, but what I am positive on is that we will start to see much higher return dispersion amongst secondary funds.

Comp levels:

I recently was asked if I wanted to interview for a job at Macquarie. It was a Principal of Infrastructure Secondaries. I don't know the first thing about Infra. Anyway, the comp being offered was USD 650-750k, [net of] bonus of ~75-125%, and then carry. Nice package which is richer than most principal jobs I know of in secondaries. I think it really depends on the firm, but at the VP level I'd generally expect a base of between $300-400k with a 50-100% bonus allocation, carry would depend on the size of your fund. For what it is worth, I am more senior than VP and my all-in was around $700k last year (excluding carry, which is still vesting and not paying out for a while).

  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Jan 21, 2022 - 10:19pm

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  • Associate 1 in IB - Gen
Jan 22, 2022 - 10:45am

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