Investors in Wilshire Private Markets’ Australian and international private equity funds-of-funds are waiting for the manager to call an investor meeting, at which the ongoing management of the funds will be decided following the trigger of key-person provisions by the resignations of global chief investment officer Jeffrey Ennis, global management committee member Ovidio Iglesias, and most other senior executives of the group.
It’s understood that under the limited partnership agreements Wilshire maintains with its clients, a 75 per cent majority of votes will be required by any prospective new manager for it to be successful.
Until last June, Wilshire Private Markets was run by a three-man committee comprising senior managing director Dan Allen, Ennis and Iglesias, who founded the manager’s Australian office in 2000. All three have now resigned.
“Over the past year, we have been implementing our strategic plan which includes the further integration of the Private Markets Group into Wilshire to create deeper synergies and benefits for our clients by leveraging the considerable intellectual capital of our four divisions,” said Dennis Tito, Wilshire Associates chairman and CEO, in an e-mail response to Pensions & Investments Magazine following Ennis’ resignation earlier this month.
“The first phase of this integration was naming Kevin Nee as president of the Private Markets Group last June…we are confident in our ability to continue to provide significant value to our clients as we continue to implement our plan.”
Much of Wilshire Private Markets’ $3 billion under management in Australia is with clients of Frontier Investment Consulting, where senior consultant Allison Hill said the situation was being closely monitored.
Wilshire’s Australian office, based in Canberra, has seen not only Iglesias resign but also Bill Humphries, the director of investment research. Fellow Australian Grant Fleming, who was running the group’s Japanese office, also put in his notice this month. However it’s understood that Grant Harrison, the managing director of the Australian office, remains with the orgnisation.