Exclusive: Parish Capital sold

November 30, 2011, 4:50 AM UTC

Back in April, we reported that private equity fund-of-funds manager Parish Capital had put itself up for sale (a tricky endeavor, given that many of Parish’s own clients and employees hadn’t yet been told). Now the North Carolina-based firm seems to have found its buyer.

Private equity adviser StepStone Group LLC is expected to announce tomorrow morning that it has agreed to acquire Parish’s fund management business for an undisclosed amount. It plans to continue managing out Parish’s existing funds-of-funds, but is unlikely to raise similar vehicles going forward (Parish . Instead, StepStone will leverage Parish’s expertise in niche and emerging fund managers to offer customized products to its clients (including, one would assume, current Parish limited partners).

Two of Parish’s managing partners — Chuck Merritt and James Mason — are expected to aid in the transition but seem unlikely to take fulltime roles with StepStone. A third managing partner, David Jeffrey, will become a StepStone partner and lead European operations.

Expect StepStone to retain most of Parish’s European employees, and a portion of its U.S. team. The Chapel Hill, N.C. headquarters will eventually be closed, with any remaining U.S. staffers operating out of existing StepStone offices in New York or San Francisco.

The deal remains subject to approval of Parish’s limited partners, which include NY Common Retirement Fund, NY State Teachers, Duke University and the North Carolina Treasury. Parish was advised on the process by boutique investment bank Colchester Partners.


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