When Scott Myers co-founded Cogent Partners in 2002, he planned to build a full-service merchant bank for private markets. But Cogent’s secondary-advisory business grew so quickly that the firm ended up focusing mostly there.
All told, Cogent completed more than 4,600 secondary transactions prior to its sale to Greenhill & Co for about $100 million in 2015.
Around that time, Myers recruited Tom Bratkovich, managing director and veteran of LP Capital, and Tom Morgan, formerly a managing director at New Mountain Capital in New York, to launch Hycroft Capital.
Tapping his Cogent template to run multiple business lines in alternative investments, Myers, 52, is now building Hycroft both as an adviser to GPs and LPs as well as a capital investor in middle-market private equity firms.
On the advisory side, Hycroft employs 30 people in New York, San Francisco and London, with plans to hire at least 12 more this year.
The advisory unit has four main branches: placement agent, LP strategic advisory, fund-restructuring solutions and valuation services.
On the capital side, Hycroft seeks minority stakes in middle-market firms with previous fund sizes of $500 million to $2.5 billion.
Myers sees Hycroft’s advisory business providing added value to GPs the firm backs. For example, market intelligence gained through its role as a placement adviser may be useful to GPs in shaping the type of funds they launch.
Myers describes the firm to job candidates as entrepreneurial. “We’ve clearly had success before with starting up Cogent,” Myers said. “That’s appealing to job candidates.”
Along with Myers, other team members also worked together at Cogent, including two Hycroft managing directors, Brad Critchell, who joined the firm in May, and Patrick Shattenkirk, who founded Hycroft’s New York office.
Prior to his time at Cogent, Myers was with Crossroads Group. Earlier in his career, he worked at consulting firm Bain & Co as a specialist in corporate strategy and PE engagements.
“It’s great to put the team back together,” Myers said. “We have a very experienced team. Most of our managing directors have been in the business for a long time, with tremendous relationships, pattern recognition and high energy.
“It’s a demanding culture but we’re clearly very ambitious. We want to grow quickly while maintaining our position as the most professional and thoughtful adviser and investor for GPs and LPs.”
Photo of Scott Myers courtesy of the firm
Correction: This story has been updated to correct the title for Scott Myers and the hyperlink to Hycroft LLC. Myers is chairman and CEO of Hycroft LLC; also co-founder and managing partner of Hycroft Capital.