Ex-Apollo co-founder’s new firm is rising fast; Healthcare deals this week include Amulet Capital, Sheridan and Vance Street

26North backs ex-BlackRock exec's new venture firm Braven.

Happy Fri-yay, Hubsters! Aaron here on the Wire to wind down the week.

Rising. Apollo co-founder Josh Harris’ new shop, 26North, has been growing rapidly, jumping from about $5 billion in AuM as of its September launch, to around $9.5 billion. In November, American Equity Investment Life Holding Co announced it was investing in the firm.

Buyouts’ Chris Witkowsky reported that 26North is announcing today that it is backing ex-BlackRock executive William Abecassis’ launch of a new venture firm called Braven. Abecassis led equity and debt investments in growth stage companies as head of innovation capital at BlackRock for more than a decade. 26North will be an anchor investor and have an equity stake in Braven.

Braven targets early-stage companies in regulated industries like healthcare, finance, industrial infrastructure and defense.

“Today’s dominant VC model works for independent disruptors, but it isn’t built to help innovators in complex, regulated industries who need to collaborate and coordinate with many critical stakeholders,” Abecassis said in a statement.

Braven falls in between private equity, with its ethos of control, and venture capital, with its freewheeling, broad-brush approach to finding the next great innovation, Abecassis explained.

“There’s a balancing point, where you’re not in control, but you’re also very engaged,” he said in an interview this week. “A model that kind of achieves that balance and does it in a way that provides a path or opportunity set for the start-up they can’t access on their own.”

The investment is interesting for Harris’ new firm, which intends to invest across multiple asset classes, including PE, credit and insurance solutions.

Other executives at 26North include: Mark Weinberg, who formerly led US private equity at Brookfield Asset Management, who will join in 2023 to lead private equity; and Brendan McGovern, former head of Goldman Sachs Asset Management’s private credit group, who is leading the firm’s direct lending program.

Others include former Centerbridge and Goldman Sachs partner Lance West; former Apollo Global Management managing director Evan Zemsky; former Blackstone managing director Tina Raja; and former Security Benefit Life executive Cole Charnas.

Read the whole story here.

Healthcare heartbeat. Deals volume is down and – from what I am hearing – things won’t be picking up anytime soon. I consider myself lucky however, as healthcare is seeing pockets of activity in the sector. Here are some deals that caught my eye this week.
Greenwich, Connecticut-based and healthcare focused Amulet Capital Partners has acquired United Vein & Vascular Centers, a provider of vascular care treatment services. No financial terms were disclosed.

UVVC will continue to be led by founder and CEO Dr Gamal Wazni and the existing management team. UVVC was established in Florida in 2014. Currently, UVVC operates across more than 30 clinical locations across Florida, Chicago, Colorado and Arizona.

“This investment represents a unique opportunity to partner with the leading management team in the vein and vascular space and deploy our extensive experience partnering with physician practice management companies to support UVVC’s next phase of growth in a dynamic, fragmented market,” said Carl Zimmerman, a principal at Amulet.

Elsewhere, Sheridan Capital Partners has acquired an ownership stake in Washington, DC-based ADVI Health, a consulting firm for the healthcare and life sciences sectors. No financial terms were disclosed.

I’ve reached out to Sheridan and hope to do a deep dive story on this investment soon. But until then…

Based in Chicago, Sheridan Capital Partners invests in lower middle market healthcare companies. ADVI was founded in 2013 and senior leaders will retain a “meaningful” ownership stake in the business and remain active in company operations.

“Sheridan has actively evaluated opportunities within the dynamic pharma services sector for many years and is delighted to partner with ADVI,” said Nicholas Rowland, a partner at Sheridan in a statement. “With the growing number of novel therapeutics and innovative devices and technologies coming to market, the expertise and data-informed insights that ADVI offers have never been more important to their clients. ADVI’s team represents a platform we will support and grow to help companies and organizations around the world navigate the complex policy, regulatory and reimbursement changes that are shaping our evolving healthcare landscape.”

And Vance Street Capital has acquired St. Paul, Minnesota-based Innovize, an advanced medical contract manufacturer. No financial terms were disclosed.

“We are excited about this partnership as it will enable us to provide a broader range of capabilities, products and services, while maintaining our core focus on providing products with a dedication to quality and customer service above all else,” said John LeRosen, a partner at Vance Street.

To learn more about mid-market firm Vance Street, please see the profile I wrote earlier this year.

PE promotion. I would like to end today on a high note.

Founded in 2017, Boston-based Cove Hill Partners, a technology and consumer-focused private equity firm managing a long-duration capital base with roughly $2.5 billion of investor commitments, has promoted Jane Levy Vance to partner. She joined the firm as an investor on the technology team in early 2019, shortly after the firm’s founding. She sits on the boards of NetDocuments, Encompass and myDigitalOffice.

“Jane is a superstar,” said Justin Roberts, co-founder and technology team-lead of Cove Hill Partners. “This promotion is just another way to recognize Jane’s enormous contributions to the firm’s Investment Committee and overall firm leadership. Jane has spent the last 15 years building deep domain expertise in the software space, and has unparalleled intellectual horsepower. We are looking forward to the next chapter of her career at Cove Hill.”

That is a wrap for me! I will get back to playing some basketball this weekend as well as doing what I can to maximize my three-day weekend. Mk Flynn will be taking over this spot on Monday and I will be back next Thursday and Friday.

Wishing everyone a wonderful weekend!