Lovell Minnick Already Beating Target on Third Fund

Lovell Minnick Partners has closed on $375 million to date for its third buyout fund, Lovell Minnick Equity Partners III LP, a source familiar with the firm’s fundraising effort told Buyouts (a siter publication to peHUB). The El Segundo, Calif.-based shop plans to close the fund by Jan. 31, 2010 at the latest, our source said.

Buyouts reported in February that firm executives decided to keep the fund open after a warm response from investors helped it cruise past its $350 million target. As of December 2008 it had raised $365 million. The firm held a first closing of $220 million in June 2008.

Credit Suisse is acting as placement agent for the fund, which has attracted close to 20 institutional investors, including WP Global Partners Inc. and RCP Advisors LLC.

Lovell Minnick invests $10 million to $40 million of equity in financial services companies, and typically holds on to its investments for about five years.

In May, the firm sold Berkeley Capital Management’s Delta Asset Management division to Marshall & Ilsley Corp. for an undisclosed amount and, as a result, fully exited the California-based investment manager for high net worth individuals and institutional clients in which it first invested in 2003.

As for deal flow, it’s been slow going. Lovell Minnick has yet to make a platform acquisition in 2009 and made only one in 2008, buying Mercer Advisors Inc., a Scottsdale, Ariz.-based company that provides financial management for dental and medical professionals, for an undisclosed amount in May. Also in May of 2008, a Lovell Minnick 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, taking a $35 million minority stake in Leerink Swann & Co., a Boston-based health care-focused boutique investment bank. Leerink Swann, which shelved plans to raise its own buyout fund, has spent the summer beefing up its staff with six investment bankers from Bank of America Merrill Lynch and now has a staff of 35 professionals

Lovell Minnick’s 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.

This story first appeared on the website of Buyouts magazine, where Bernard Vaughan is a senior editor.