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Stone Point in talks for next buyout fund, has more than $4 bln of demand

Stone Point Capital isn’t wasting time. The financial services-focused PE firm is talking to investors about its sixth buyout fund, according to four private equity and placement sources.

There was no consensus on the target. Stone Point is seeking anywhere from $3 billion to $4.5 billion with its latest fund, sources said. The Greenwich, Conn.-based PE firm is not using a placement agent for Fund VI and will officially be out in the market “soon,” one placement source said. “They have demand for over $4 billion,” the person said.

News of the fundraising comes less than three years since Stone Point completed its last fund. Trident V LP raised $3.5 billion in January 2011.

Stone Point officials did not return calls or messages for comment.

Stone Point has a great track record, one GP said, who cited the firm’s connections to Goldman Sachs. Stone Point is led by Charles Davis, who spent 23 years at Goldman, including as head of investment banking services worldwide, according to the firm’s website. Stephen Friedman, Stone Point’s chairman, is also a retired chairman of Goldman.

“It doesn’t hurt to have former head of Goldman atop your private equity fund,” the PE exec said. “[Stone Point] has been continually active, even during the financial crisis, and most of their deals have worked.”

Stone Point is the former private equity unit of Marsh & McLennan Cos. The firm, which split off from MMC in 2005, manages the Trident funds.

Stone Point invests in financial services, including banks, asset managers and insurers. The firm typically invests between $50 million and $350 million equity per deal. Stone Point’s Fund V has invested in Duff & Phelps Corp., Access Point Financial and Standard Bancshares.

In 2012, Stone Point and KKR formed MerchCap Solutions, which provides capital market services to mid-market companies. The PE firms each committed to invest $150 million, or $300 million in total, to MerchCap. CPPIB Credit Investments in January said it would provide another $50 million.

News of the fundraising was first reported by Dow Jones.

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