April 03, 2024

David Barrett Partners, BraddockMatthews in money

manager search merger

Asset-management executive search boutiques BraddockMatthews and David Barrett Partners have merged to form a firm with strengths across a broad spectrum of industry segments.


The combination of BraddockMatthews, led by Derek Braddock and Bill Matthews, and David Barrett’s eponymous firm creates a buy-side search partnership with roughly 30 employees, including nine partners, consultants, research and administrative professionals, at offices in New York, Boston and London.


In an interview, the three search veterans said BraddockMatthewsBarrett will meld BraddockMatthews’ strengths in fast-growing market segments such as private equity and private credit with David Barrett Partners’ strengths in asset owner segments such as endowments, foundations and family offices.

Derek Braddock, Bill Matthews and David Barrett

“Both firms have been thinking about how do we grow our businesses,” with BraddockMatthews active in areas David Barrett Partners had been looking to expand into and David Barrett Partners established in markets where BraddockMatthews was looking to grow, Barrett said.


That complementary nature should make the merger a “one plus one equals four kind of thing,” Braddock said.


By way of example, Barrett noted, in CIO searches for college endowments, David Barrett Partners — lacking BraddockMatthew’s deep private markets expertise — had had limited room to follow up with “the head of XYZ private equity firm” serving as the endowment’s investment committee chair “to then talk to them about their own business” and potentially serve them going forward.

That’s “the extra that the combination allows us to give,” he said.


The ability to marry the GP side, the GP know-how and the LP know-how, is just a better way to source talent and triangulate ideas among investors and asset management firms, Braddock agreed.


Braddock and Matthews, meanwhile, cited the London office David Barrett Partners has maintained since 2009 as a considerable attraction. 


Matthews said BraddockMatthews has done work for European alternatives managers looking to expand in the U.S. and furthering those relations by having a presence in London will help facilitate that business.


Barrett likewise highlighted the synergies from his firm’s combination with BraddockMatthews, noting that David Barrett Partners’ London team has focused so far on public managers and asset owners. “We have not done anything in private equity or private credit over there … so (the BraddockMatthews team’s) expertise and credibility in that context” will provide further benefits, he said. 


Braddock, Matthews and Barrett all declined to provide details on searches they have done.


But publicly available information showed David Barrett Partners placing chief investment officer candidates since the start of 2023 with the $8.6 billion Getty Trust, Princeton University’s $34.1 billion endowment, Virginia Tech’s $2.8 billion endowment, the $3.7 billion Mott Foundation, Brandeis University’s $1.2 billion endowment and the $4.2 billion Carnegie Corp. 


Braddock, in an email, said while his firm had promised clients not to use them as a marketing tool, today his team is working with four of the largest private equity and private credit firms in the world, a number of leading middle market PE firms and one of the five largest global hedge funds, as well as two of the world’s largest traditional money managers.


Barrett, Braddock and Matthews called their decision to combine a “merger of strength” more than necessity. “Both firms are coming off of record three year periods in terms of activity levels” and revenues, said Barrett.


And they said their familiarity with one another in the tight-knit search community — Barrett noted that he and Braddock had even worked together 20 years before at Barrett’s previous firm, Higdon Barrett, before he departed in 2005 to found David Barrett Partners — gave them confidence that the combination would be a good cultural fit.


BraddockMatthews brought 15 people to the merger while David Barrett Partners brought 16, with 26 of the combined staff to be divided between Boston and New York and five to work out of the London office.

Reprinted with permission from Pensions & Investments. © 2024 Crain Communications Inc. All rights reserved. 
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