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Pantheon – Best Secondaries House & Best Private Equity Management Firm

Last year, Pantheon celebrated its 35th anniversary. It is testament to the drive and determination to evolve the business model in response to changing market dynamics that has helped Pantheon stand the test of time to become, arguably, one of the most experienced global private equity, infrastructure and real assets fund investors.

Consider the numbers: 450 investors; 245 staff across six global offices; USD37.3 billion of discretionary and non-discretionary AUM, including those limited to a reporting function (as of 30th September, 2017), with USD21.5 billion committed in PE primaries and USD11.1 billion in PE secondaries; USD2.4 billion in co-investment and USD5.2 billion committed to infrastructure and real assets since it launched a dedicated strategy in 2009.

Factor in that it has 9,000-plus GPs in its database and hundreds of deals under its belt and one quickly gets a sense of the size of Pantheon. 

Asked to comment on what the key to Pantheon’s success has been over the years since it was established by Rhoddy Swire, Amanda McCrystal, Global Head of Marketing, proffers one word: consistency.

“While the financial services universe has changed almost beyond recognition over the four decades we have been operating,” says McCrystal, “what Pantheon does, and how we operate, has remained consistent throughout. We never forget that we are here to serve our clients. Everything we do here is focused on and driven by that ethos.”

Pantheon experienced growth across all its investment strategies and client markets in 2017, exceeding its target expectations for the year. With respect to PE secondaries, the group currently manages USD11.1 billion in AUM across five funds. McCrystal says that given the highly competitive nature of the PE secondaries marketplace, it is important to think creatively to succeed. 

“Our private equity secondaries investment team think a lot about how we can source deals that provide upside within Pantheon’s risk tolerance and ask themselves constantly: ‘Are we missing any opportunities that we should be participating in?’

“Whilst we also need to make sure we spend time on the core part of the global private equity secondaries market – the bedrock on which we built Pantheon’s successful secondary business – we are mindful of the need to refresh ourselves with the range of competencies that are necessary, in our view, to transact successfully,” outlines McCrystal.

Pantheon is certainly no stranger to the PE secondaries market.

2018 will mark the 30th anniversary since it made its first transaction. This has helped give Pantheon a clear perspective on how this market has evolved over the year and, crucially, to understand how investors use secondaries within their portfolio construction. 

McCrystal says that as the secondaries market matures and attracts an increased number of participants and a greater depth and breadth of deal flow, “it becomes somewhat inevitable that you begin to see a far greater differentiation between participants’ strategies.

“Now you see diversified strategies, tail-end portfolios, GP-led deals and strategies focused on small positions. That would not have been the case ten years ago.”

Stewardship is a core value at Pantheon. As such, the principal focus for 2018 will be on delivering strong performance and exceeding its clients’ expectations. 

“But we also have a responsibility to lead by example – whether that is demonstrating environmental awareness, a commitment to gender and workforce diversity, to fostering an inclusive corporate culture, and to servicing our clients to the high standard we set,” states McCrystal.

On winning the two awards this year, McCrystal adds: “None of us can think of a better way to start 2018.” n

These awards are not an endorsement of any type of investment offered by Pantheon and are not being used to distinguish Pantheon from competitors or to imply a higher degree of sophistication, expertise or success than other private equity firm. Please see Pantheon’s Award Methodologies section on for details regarding each award mentioned above.

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