Succession planning has prompted an Australian-owned alternatives asset consultant to internally promote a new executive director.
Quentin Ayers, well-known for consulting in private equity and alternatives, was looking to ensure “a gradual evolution”, said founder Gary Lines. “The more senior guys are getter older, and so we need to move those more junior closer to the top.”
Investments director Greg Elliott (pictured) has been with the company for the past six years, and has “well and truly earned the promotion”, which includes a seat on the Quentin Ayers board, said Lines.
The 40-year-old Elliott, who has more than 18 years of funds management and private equity experience, said that while “it will be business as usual in many ways”, he’ll also be looking for “more focus on off-shore” opportunities.
Before joining Quentin Ayers in 2004, Elliott was a principal with Henderson Private Equity in London; a member of that firm’s European technology fund; and co-founder and member of the investment committee for the global private equity fund of funds.
In speaking to Elliott’s promotion, Lines said the GFC had lulled his company’s business, but in a complex way.
“The illiquidity of (some) private equity has been writ large in the minds of trustees,” Lines said, “and they’re having a good, hard look at their portfolios.”
He said trustees were now being more sophisticated in their teasing out of assets into illiquid (such as closed-ended funds), and semi-liquid (such as opportunistic credit funds).
The drop in value of public equity portfolios meant that funds’ allocations to private equity were reached more quickly, and so this had led to something of a lull at present. “There is less capacity to make investments, and there is a delay while private equity matures,” Lines said.
Elliott said Quentin Ayers was not “siloed” in private equity. “We look for the highest quality managers. We’re not over-diversified in managers, and we’re always looking to selectively add to the portfolio roster within those managers.”
Elliott has a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of New South Wales, and a diploma in applied finance and investment from the Financial Services Institute of Australasia.
In his position as investments director at Quentin Ayers, Elliott worked in identifying, evaluating and accessing potential investments.