Fort Washington new $300 mln fund-of-funds avoids generalist GPs

  • Firm: Fort Washington Capital Partners
  • Fund: Fort Washington Private Equity Investors IX LP
  • Target: $300 mln

Fort Washington Capital Partners Group, the private-equity unit of Western & Southern Financial Group, set a fundraising goal of $300 million for its ninth fund-of-funds, in line with its predecessor, according to filings.

The firm said it prefers niche funds that reflect a manager’s differentiation or competitive advantage by leveraging their institutional expertise, global reach or specific operating capabilities, according to its website.

“We believe that industry focused funds are better positioned than generalists to make insightful investment decisions and add value to their portfolio companies,” the firm said on its website.

Fort Washington Private Equity Investors IX lists Maribeth Rahe and Stephen Baker as executives for the pool.

Rahe is president and CEO of Fort Washington Investment Advisors and a member of the investment committee, according to the firm’s website. Baker holds the title of deputy head of private equity. He joined the firm in 2000 and previously worked at Seaport Capital Partners.

A spokesman for the firm declined to comment.

Fort Washington Capital Partners, or FW Capital, invests in both primary and secondary markets for endowments, foundations and public pension plans.

“We construct a balanced portfolio that reduces risk based on combining uncorrelated strategies in the portfolio,” FW Capital said. “Our disciplined approach to fund selection focuses on managers that exhibit strong differentiation, investment judgment and alignment of interests.”

FW Capital seeks out “timely and relevant” funds with an eye on prevailing market conditions for diversified exposure to vintage years, investment stage and geography.  The firm’s seeks out funds with investments in the healthcare, business-services, energy, technology, consumer and financial sectors.

Among its most recent funds, it launched fundraising for Fort Washington Private Equity Opportunities Fund III in 2014 with a target of $150 million, according to Bison. In 2013, it closed on $300 million for Fort Washington Private Equity Investors VIII.

Raising its first fund-of-funds in 1999, FW Capital now manages seven diversified fund-of-funds and three secondary funds, according to the firm’s website. As of December 31, Fort Washington and its subsidiaries managed approximately $45.8 billion in affiliated and external assets in private equity, fixed income and public equity.

The firm also acts as a private-equity adviser for Western & Southern Financial Group, and manages about $3 billion in private-equity commitments for public and private institutions.

Cincinnati-based Western & Southern Financial Group offers life insurance and real estate investment management with more than $70 billion in AUM as of March 31, 2015. It also owns Peppertree Partners, a registered investment adviser.

Several forts named Fort Washington were built in the U.S., including one in Cincinnati that stood from 1789-1808. In 1998, the Daughters of the American Revolution rededicated a monument to the fort in downtown Cincinnati.

Action item:  Contact FW Capital,

Photo of Fort Washington in Maryland courtesy of ShutterStock.