Lexington Partners Departure Leaves Just One Female Partner

(Bloomberg) -- Lexington Partners, a big buyer of stakes in funds managed by other alternative asset managers, is down to just one female partner.

Rebecca John, who oversaw investor relations and had been at the New York-based firm since 2001, left at the end of September. A spokesman for the firm confirmed her departure, adding that she left to pursue other interests. John had been involved in 13 fund offerings during her tenure, which saw the firm’s assets under management increase to more than $38 billion from roughly $6 billion. John didn’t respond to requests for comment.

Lexington is focused on buying secondhand stakes in private equity funds -- a business better known as secondaries. Following John’s departure, only one of the firm’s remaining 20 partners is female: Jennifer Kheng.

The alternative asset management industry is struggling with a dearth of top females. Women as a percentage of senior employees range between 9 percent and 11 percent across private equity, venture capital, real estate, hedge funds, infrastructure, natural resources and private debt, according to data provider Preqin. Gender equality is highest in investor relations, where women make up about 48 percent of the total, Preqin data also shows.

Pension funds and other large investors have been increasingly paying attention to diversity. In June, for instance, the Oregon Investment Council scolded TPG for its lack of senior females.

Major Fundraising

Lexington is part-way through raising $12 billion for Lexington Capital Partners IX LP, which could be the largest-ever fund dedicated to secondaries. Lexington declined to comment on the fundraising.

The secondaries sector itself has matured in recent years as investors such as pension funds and endowments seek to cash out of their illiquid positions. The firm also allocates capital to new funds across the globe and has completed more than 370 such transactions, according to its website.

Lexington -- which also invests alongside private equity funds in specific deals -- has experienced a recent leadership change. In June, founder Brent Nicklas said he would step back from day-to-day operations of the firm by taking on a non-executive chairman role. Simultaneously, Wilson Warren was appointed president.

©2018 Bloomberg L.P.