Mercury bolsters team, opens in Washington DC

The placement agent has hired six professionals, including partner Kirk Rostron, bringing its staff count to 32 across nine offices globally.

Mercury Capital Advisors, the global placement agent set up in 2009 by former members of Merrill Lynch Private Equity Funds Group, has added six professionals to its staff and opened an office in Washington DC.

Mercury effectively will absorb Washington DC-based placement firm The Mt. Vernon Group, hiring its co-founder and managing partner Kirk Rostron as a partner. Rostron will focus on distribution, managing relationships with institutional investors and other limited partners committing to a variety of alternative investment funds. Prior to founding Mt. Vernon, Rostron was a director in Merrill Lynch’s hedge fund development and management group.

“[The distribution team] talks to pension funds, endowments and foundations, family offices, fund of funds, insurance companies and the like,” Mercury managing partner Alan Pardee told  sister publication Private Equity International. “Outside the US, you would add to that sovereign wealth funds.”

Also joining Mercury from Mt. Vernon is principal Martie D’Apice and vice president Heather Petersen. D’Apice focuses on distribution and previously was the director of client services at Kingdon Capital Management. Petersen most recently was a director in charge of deal management, origination and due diligence at Mt. Vernon and will work on origination and deal execution at Mercury. 

Mercury also hired Evan Wein as a partner and senior advisor for special situations, focusing on hedge funds. Wein most recently was a senior managing director at Norfolk Markets, where he was responsible for capital markets and high-yield financing. At the analyst level, Mercury hired Nick Ferraresi from Columbia University and Jake Wolfin from Middlebury College.

Mercury focuses on origination and distribution of private equity and real estate funds and direct investments in private equity, real estate, infrastructure, credit, venture capital, secondaries and special situations investments. In May, the firm opened a San Francisco office, led by real estate principal Paul Tam, and added London-based vice president Timothy Lee, who focuses primarily on private equity.