Skip McGee’s Intrepid Said to Seek Up to $500 Million for Fund

(Bloomberg) -- Intrepid Financial Partners, the merchant bank founded by former Barclays Plc executive Hugh “Skip” McGee, is seeking to raise $350 million to $500 million from investors for its first fund, according to people familiar with the plan.

The firm plans to use the cash to invest alongside clients in energy-industry deals and also may seek its own opportunities, said the people, who asked not to be identified discussing an effort that hasn’t been publicly disclosed. The firm started last year with offices in New York and Houston and advises clients on mergers and acquisitions as well as restructurings. Chief Operating Officer Chris Winchenbaugh declined to comment.

McGee is seeking to profit from dealmaking in the energy industry, which has been disrupted by volatile commodity prices. He opened Intrepid Investment Management to make debt and equity bets in the sector, hiring Robert Cabes in July to lead that unit. Cabes joined from private equity firm White Deer Energy and previously worked at Donaldson Lufkin & Jenrette.

‘Fresh Capital’

“We look forward to putting fresh capital to work on unique opportunities that create value, particularly given the tremendous opportunity in the energy sector,” McGee said in the statement announcing the hire. “As a traditional merchant bank, we leverage our collective experience across our entire platform – whether it be M&A and restructuring advisory or investing – to identify and participate in interesting opportunities.”

A host of boutiques have been raising funds this year as investors seek more ways to deploy capital amid near record-low interest rates. Former Carlyle Group LP dealmakers Justin Teltschik and J.W. Sikora left the private equity firm and created Cibolo Energy Partners, seeking to raise as much as $300 million for a debut fund. Ex-KKR & Co. energy head Marc Lipschultz joined former Blackstone Group LP executive Doug Ostrover to raise funds for a new venture, Owl Rock Capital Partners.

McGee was formerly chief executive officer in the Americas for Barclays. He spent 15 years at Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. before it went bankrupt and sold operations to the London-based bank. Intrepid’s advisory business focuses on clients in energy exploration, refining and transport along with oilfield services and power and utilities.

Other boutiques in energy dealmaking include Simmons & Co., which was purchased by Piper Jaffray Cos. this year, and Tudor Pickering Holt & Co., which is in talks to combine with boutique investment bank Perella Weinberg Partners, according to people familiar with the deal.