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Family office strikes deal to create 'bank for millennials'

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Family office strikes deal to create 'bank for millennials'

Family office LJ Partnership has made an investment in merchant bank Lepe Partners as it looks to build a merchant banking platform for millennials.

In return for its investment, LJ Partnership’s co-chair Ken Costa will become chairman of Lepe Partners, while partner Ali Bouzarif and co-founder Edward Lawson Johnston will also join the merchant bank’s board.

It’s understood that LJ Partnership will take a 49% stake in Lepe Partners, though it is not clear how much has been invested in the firm.

Commenting on the deal, Costa said: ‘Our goal is to build a merchant banking platform for the millennial generation that matches long term capital with bespoke global investment opportunities in attractive fast-growing areas such as digital media and technology.’

He added: ‘In partnership with Lepe Partners, we seek both to advise them on the most compelling opportunities and to put our own money to work alongside them as experienced co-investors.’

Jonathan Goodwin, who will keep his role as CEO of Lepe Partners following the investment, said: ‘This collaboration is a signal of our confidence in the long-term potential of the European digital economy.

‘Europe has emerged from the shadow of Silicon Valley to become a success in its own right and our vision is to build an investment and advisory offering to underpin its continued growth.’

In July, LJ Partnership 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 Costa, former head of M&A at UBS, as partner and co-chair.

Bouzarif, former head of investment execution at the Qatar Investment Authority, joined alongside Costa and opened a new office for the business in New York.

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

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