Lovell Minnick Eyes Close To Fund III

Lovell Minnick Partners LLC expects to close its third buyout fund by the end of the year, according to a source familiar with the fundraising. The firm is targeting $350 million for the fund, as reported in Buyouts in February.

The El Segundo, Calif.-based shop held a first close of $220 million in June, our source said. Lovell Minnick invests $10 million to $40 million of equity in financial services companies, typically holding them for about five years. Credit Suisse is helping the firm raise the fund.

Its previous fund, Lovell Minnick Equity Partners II LP, closed in July 2006 with $220 million in commitments. Jeff Lovell, the CEO who founded the firm with James Minnick in 1999, declined to comment.

The firm has made one platform acquisition so far in 2008. In May it bought Mercer Advisors Inc., a Scottsdale, Ariz.-based a company that provides financial management for dental and medical professionals, for an undisclosed amount. In May a portfolio company, ALPS Fund Services Inc., acquired the assets of Price Meadows Inc., a Bellevue, Wash.-based hedge fund administrator.

Lovell Minnick made one investment in 2007, a $35 million minority stake in Leerink Swann & Co., a Boston-based boutique investment bank.