Spearhead to wind up

The senior principals of the placement agent have signed a separation agreement bringing the firm’s operations to a halt at the end of June ahead of launching separate businesses.

Spearhead Capital Partners, a placement agent behind private equity real estate funds being raised by firms including GreenOak Real Estate, Pamfleet Group and Murray Hill Properties, is to wind up operations at the end of June, PERE has learned.

The firm was formed in 2009 by Craig Wallace (pictured), Sam Whiffin, Michelle LeRoy and Nick Ridgewell and has since gone on to raise $469 million from the US, Europe and Asia for its clients. However, it is understood that differences of opinion regarding the strategic direction of the firm has led to its senior executives deciding to cease operations with a view to forming separate ventures.

After the separation is complete, the Spearhead Capital Partners brand will exist only to service legacy mandates. For instance, it is still mandated to raise capital for GreenOak’s GreenOak Real Estate Japan Fund I, a Japan-focused opportunity fund which had collected $200 million as of February.

Following the separation, Craig Wallace, Spearhead’s chief executive officer and Sam Whiffin, its Asia chief executive officer, are to run Promote Capital, a boutique business focussed on partnering with Asian real estate investment managers specifically for single-asset transactions, joint ventures and clubs. The remit for Hong Kong-based Promote could also include placing capital into these transactions.

Australia-based Ridgewell, Spearhead’s chief operating officer, has teamed up with Anthony Biddulph, Spearhead’s London-based senior consultant, to form RiverBridge Capital Partners, a Europe, Middle East and Asia-focused private equity real estate capital markets advisory and placement group. Like Promote, RiverBridge plans to raise capital for joint ventures, single accounts and club deals but will also continue to serve more traditional fund vehicles.

Meanwhile, LeRoy, who is based in California, is understood to be considering either setting up a new placement agent business or providing fund consultancy services. Whichever way she turns, she has formed another company called Tricon Real Assets Capital and that company could form part of her plans.

To understand more about the split and current market conditions in the placement agent space, see next month’s issue of PERE.