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Family office sells 40% stake as it hires ex-UBS M&A star

Family office sells 40% stake as it hires ex-UBS M&A star

Family office LJ Partnership has sold a 40% equity stake to a New York based family office originating in the Gulf, as it announced a series of high level hires and a rebranding.

In parallel to the investment, the business has recruited former head of M&A at UBS and chair of its investment bank in the Middle East, Europe and Africa Ken Costa as partner and co-chair.

Joining alongside him is former head of investment execution at the Quatar Investment Authority Ali Bouzarif, who will open a new office for the business in New York.

The business said it would additionally rebrand as Alvarium Investments next year following the capital injection from family office the Dilmun Group.

The business does not appear to have a web presence and a spokesperson declined to offer further detail.

LJ Partnership advises on client assets of around £11 bilion, around £3 bilion of which is managed via portfolio investments with the remainder in the group’s property franchise.

In a statement, LJ Partnership chief executive Alexander de Meyer (pictured) said: ‘Attracting individuals of the calibre of Ken Costa and Ali Bouzarif is testament to our growth to date as well as our ambitions for the future.

‘We are well placed to adapt to a reshaped wealth management sector: pivoting our core disciplines in financial and real estate assets to encompass new sectors and strategies; expanding our operations in Europe, Asia and the Americas; and securing new partners, shareholders and clients to achieve our growth ambitions.’

The recruitment of Costa, who is also a former chair of Lazard Bank, is expected to help the firm develop its M&A and private equity services for clients, among a range of real asset strategies the group is hoping to promote.

He added: Our new platform is about merchant banking for the millennial generation, the coming together of expertise and capital.

‘I look forward to contributing to the firm’s future growth as its investor base expands to include corporates, institutions and sovereign wealth funds, with the aim of matching long term capital with bespoke global investment opportunities in existing sectors such as real estate, and new areas including M&A, private equity, technology and advisory.’

The portfolio management core of the business was founded as LJ Athene in 2011 when partner and chief investment officer Neil Beaton led his private client management team out of Deloitte citing a ‘conflict of interest’.

He launched with the backing of merchant bank LJ Group and subsequently merged the business with sister subsidiary LJ Partnership.

A spokesperson for the business declined to discuss when this occurred or the circumstances of the combination, and the nature of the deal was not immediately clear from documents filed at Companies House. 

LJ Partnership roughly doubled in size with the purchase of multi-family office Guggenheim in 2016, given it a base in east Asia and North America.

The company said it anticipated further global acquisitions as it expanded its service range and geographical reach. The business currently employs 200 across eight offices in Europe, US and Asia.

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