2018 Knowledge Brokers New Guards

Christopher Farrington

Consultant Christopher Farrington knew the world of private equity well before he started down a new career path in 2013, a path that led to his current role as a managing director-advisory services at Pavilion Alternatives Group.

In 2013, Farrington joined as a consultant to LP Capital Advisors, which was acquired by Pavilion Financial Corp. in 2014 and merged with Altius Associates, Ltd. in 2016 to form Pavilion Alternatives Group.

Prior to becoming a consultant, Farrington spent 12 years in the private equity industry. First, he was director of US private equity at Metropolitan Life Insurance Co., then was an investment professional at Centinela Capital Partners, an emerging manager private equity-focused fund of funds, where he was responsible for sourcing, screening, and evaluating fund and co-investment opportunities.

Farrington said that background has helped him build and monitor private equity programs for institutional clients, but that also working for Pavilion with its established connections to top-tier private equity firms has also been a major plus.

In an expected future lower-return environment for traditional asset classes, an increasing number of institutional investors want to build or expand private equity investment allocations so much so that top-tier funds are regularly over-subscribed, and investors are often shut out, Farrington said,

Certainly, access has been an issue to the top performers,” he said.  “There is more demand for the best-performing funds out there.”

He said as institutional investors have received large distributions from private equity general partners during the last few years, they have found it increasingly difficult to maintain their allocation or expand their program.

Farrington said connections built over the long-term can help. He said that he and other private markets consultants at Pavilion have been able to obtain private equity allocations for clients in an environment where the demand outstrips supply given the firm’s established presence and reputation in the market.

Farrington leads consultant advisory services at Pavilion’s Boston office, working directly with institutional clients in North America. He stresses that consultants at Pavilion work as a team, a collaborative effort that produces optimal results for the firm’s clients.

“We really work closely with our clients due to the firm’s boutique approach, leveraging our relationships with those top-tier firms,” Farrington said.

The consultant said that building a private equity portfolio capable of generating consistent top-quartile returns across market cycles takes time, and an implementation plan could take five years.

The right private equity strategies are also essential, he said, noting that certain strategies can have a high correlation to other asset classes, a bad thing in a market downfall.

“Looking for compelling, non-correlated private equity strategies has been an increasing focus at Pavilion,” he said.

By Randy Diamond

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