William Blair, a global boutique firm with expertise in investment banking, investment management and private wealth management, launched its private capital advisory practice. The practice expands William Blair’s financial sponsor advisory platform to provide financial sponsor clients with relevant and differentiated strategic advice and offer fund placement, direct equity capital-raising (directs and co-invests) and secondary solutions on a global basis.
Veteran secondaries adviser Mike Custar joined the firm as a managing director, head of private capital advisory in New York to lead the practice. Custer will be joined by Quinn Kolberg and a team of secondaries experts who will be responsible for GP-led secondaries. The private capital advisory team will work alongside William Blair’s global team of 25 financial sponsor coverage and advisory professionals and more than 550 sector- and product-focused bankers.
“William Blair’s deep sector knowledge, execution excellence, buyer and investor relationships and extensive global reach delivers a valuable platform to financial sponsors. The addition of private capital advisory enables us to provide financial sponsors with holistic solutions tailored to their unique needs and address all stages of the private equity lifecycle,” Brandon Lower, head of the financial sponsors group at William Blair, said. “Mike and Quinn share our vision of being the most trusted advisor and partner to private equity firms and the management teams at their portfolio companies. We are excited to have them join our world-class team.”
Custar brings more than 26 years of industry experience to the firm. Most recently, he was a partner at M2O Private Fund Advisors in New York, where he was head of the secondary advisory business and responsible for secondary advisory, primary and secondary origination and select distribution. Before M2O, he was a managing director in the private funds group at Credit Suisse, where he was the global head of secondary advisory and a senior member of the origination committee and project management and due diligence teams. Before that, Custar was a director at PricewaterhouseCoopers, where he assisted private equity GPs in evaluating acquisition targets.
Kolberg joins as a director in New York and brings more than seven years of industry experience. He joins the firm from M2O Private Fund Advisors, where he most recently served as a principal focused on executing GP-led secondaries. In 2021, Kolberg was selected as a next gen leader of secondaries by Private Equity International.
“I’m thrilled to join William Blair,” Custar said. “The opportunity to collaborate on and develop a full suite of private capital advisory solutions with a world-class firm like William Blair is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. I look forward to fully integrating into the firm to develop solutions that address our clients’ private capital needs.”