By bringing together the capital, expertise and track-records of Ken Costa and Jonathan Goodwin, this partnership will provide investors with access to fast growing sectors undergoing technological and digital disruption; and capitalise on the continued growth of the European media, internet and technology sectors.
The European media, internet and technology sectors continue to experience strong growth, with deals valued at more than $460bn completing in the last three years. With $21bn of unrealised value in VC backed European businesses, Europe represents an increasingly fertile ground for future leaders in global technology. The increase in the number of tech exits has also created unprecedented demand for experienced European dealmakers with a thorough understanding of its digital economy. Since 2014, Europe has seen more tech IPOs than the US, and more than twice the number in 2016 and 2017 (source: LSE).
This collaboration forms part of LJ Partnership’s strategy to create a merchant banking platform for multiple generations, including the increasingly influential millennial generation, which is set to control $24tr of assets by 2020. Younger investors increasingly want transparency, control and the opportunity to partner and co-invest with asset managers across a broad range of fast growing sectors such as digital media and technology.
Ken Costa, Partner and Co-Chairman of LJ Partnership who will also become Chairman of Lepe Partners, said: “Our goal is to build a merchant banking platform for the millennial generation that matches long term capital with bespoke global investment opportunities in attractive fast-growing areas such as digital media and technology. Our collaboration with Lepe is a perfect marriage of experience from the worlds of global finance and cutting-edge technology, which will in turn give our clients and shareholders access to an unparalleled network and investment insights. Digital media and technology are sectors in which investors are increasingly engaged – particularly the millennial generation.”
The investment comes shortly after LJ Partnership appointed Ken Costa, the former Chairman of Lazard International as co-Chairman; and Ali Bouzarif, the former Head of Investment Execution at the Qatar Investment Authority and former non-executive director of Heathrow Airport, as a Partner. Both will join the board of Lepe Partners alongside LJ Partnership’s Partner and co-Founder Edward Lawson Johnston. Ken Costa will become Chairman of Lepe Partners and Jonathan Goodwin will remain as CEO.
Jonathan Goodwin, CEO of Lepe Partners, said: “This collaboration is a signal of our confidence in the long-term potential of the European digital economy. Europe has emerged from the shadow of Silicon Valley to become a success in its own right and our vision is to build an investment and advisory offering to underpin its continued growth. The partnership with LJ will bring together the scope and quality of our combined offering, coupled with Lepe’s unique perspective into the digital sector, having advised on over 150 transactions in this space and having co-founded the Founders Forum. I believe this will create a truly unique proposition for current and prospective clients.”
These high-profile appointments are supporting the expansion of LJ Partnership into new investment strategies including M&A, private equity, technology and advisory, which will supplement its already strong position in direct real estate and public markets; and will increase the firm’s growing exposure to an international base of corporates, sovereign wealth funds and institutional investors.