Hamilton Lane opens Toronto office led by ex-CVCA CEO Mike Woollatt

Mike Woollatt, principal, fund investments and co-investments, Hamilton Lane. Photo courtesy of Mike Woollatt/Twitter

Hamilton Lane, a US$470 billion private-markets investment and advisory firm, has opened an office in Toronto, its first in Canada.

The location, the Philadelphia firm’s 16th worldwide, will be run by Mike Woollatt, hired in January as a principal in the fund investments and co-investments team.

Woollatt joined from $97 billion Canadian pension fund OMERS, where he was a director, strategic partnerships, with OMERS Platform Investments, now OMERS Growth Equity.

Prior to joining OMERS in 2018, Woollatt for four years led the Canadian Venture Capital and Private Equity Association. He was the 45-year-old industry organization’s first CEO.

Previously, Woollatt was with Beaconsfield Group, a management consulting and public affairs firm he co-founded. He also held executive roles at several Canadian communications businesses.

Hamilton Lane’s opening of a Toronto office follows its selection for investment last year by Ottawa’s Venture Capital Catalyst Initiative.

It was one of five fund-of-funds managers that secured VCCI commitments as part of the program’s $400 million strategy to shore up VC supply in Canada by capitalizing local funds alongside private sources, such as corporations, institutions and wealthy investors.

The others are HarbourVest Partners, Kensington Capital Partners, Northleaf Capital Partners and Teralys Capital.

In December, Kensington and Northleaf announced initial closings for their VCCI-backed funds.

Kensington raised $85 million from BMO Capital Partners, Trend Forward Capital, Kensington Private Equity Fund and others.

Northleaf reportedly raised half its $300 million target from Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, Sun Life Financial, TD Bank Group and others.

Woollatt will take the lead on Hamilton Lane’s VCCI-backed fund initiative.