US alternative asset manager to boost AUM by $4B with private markets acquisition

Boston-based alternative asset manager HighVista Strategies is to acquire the U.S. private markets business of abrdn Inc.

HighVista is approaching its 20-year anniversary and currently manages assets of around $5 billion for a client mix including sophisticated institutions, including pensions, insurers, sovereign wealth funds, family offices, and high net worth individuals and families.

The acquisition will add around $4 billion to its AUM and around 30 advisors to its head count and includes abrdn’s U.S. private equity and venture capital assets, and the investment and operational teams.

“This strategic acquisition is a significant milestone in our firm’s nearly 20-year history,” said Caroline Page, partner at HighVista Strategies. “We are very enthusiastic about bringing this highly talented and seasoned team of private market investors aboard at HighVista to help meet the growing and evolving needs of our clients.”

The firm has a focus on investing in less efficient markets and adding abrdn’s private markets business will expand its capabilities in lower middle market private equity and early-stage venture capital.

The U.S. business unit of abrdn is part of abrdn plc, the UK-based global asset manager previous called Standard Life Aberdeen plc.

ADVISOR TEAM

Following the tie-up with HighVista, Kirsten Morin and Peter Mooradian, co-heads of abrdn’s global venture capital investments, will continue to manage the global venture capital strategy, with industry veteran Peter Lawrence assuming a senior advisor role.

“The combination of abrdn’s U.S. private equity and venture capital business with HighVista unites two teams that are culturally and philosophically aligned, especially around our investment approach and pursuit of alpha in inefficient markets,” said André Perold, CIO, co-founder and partner at HighVista Strategies. “Our teams have known each other for years, and we expect this collaboration to lead to significant cross-pollination of investment ideas over time.”

The deal is expected to close later this year and its terms have not been disclosed.  

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