Private Equity

Enabling a global institutional client base to invest broadly across the private equity asset class through diversified portfolios of highly sought-after managers and co-investment opportunities for nearly four decades.

For institutional investors

Private market expertise with a successful, repeatable process

Our team has been investing in private markets for nearly 40 years. Our approach leverages the firm's synergistic partnership investment and co-investment activities to identify and select investment opportunities characterized by appropriate purchase price multiples, positive and growing cash flows and successful, repeatable models to improve portfolio company operations. Over the years, we have consistently identified high-performing partnership, secondary and co-investment opportunities in North America and Europe.

Mesirow Private Equity investors benefit from the firm's competitive advantages:


Hundreds of primary partnership commitments, secondary investments and co-investments completed since inception


Long term relationships with many of the industry's most established, top-performing private equity managers


Proactive sourcing identifies and secures relationships with the next generation of emerging market leaders


Highly selective and thorough due diligence process delivers uniquely focused portfolios

headshot of Marc E. Sacks
“Our deeply experienced investment team possesses the investment judgment essential to the execution of our investment strategy—and our clients’ success.”

Marc E. Sacks | CEO, Mesirow Private Equity

Commitment to our clients

We invest alongside our clients, which reflects our commitment to them and our confidence in our approach.

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Investment strategies

Mesirow Private Equity has a unique team approach to the private equity market that includes expertise in primary partnership investments, secondary investments and co-investments executed by highly experienced professionals with demonstrated investment judgment who have managed through multiple economic cycles.

    Mesirow Private Equity seeks access to newly formed funds of top-performing managers. Since these funds are often highly sought-after and generally oversubscribed, the investment team works to identify and build relationships with these managers in advance of their fundraising processes.  We have pursued this strategy since our first Fund-of-Funds in 1999 and have developed strong relationships with a subset of what the firm believes to be among the industry's most elite general partners.


    The objective of our primary partnership strategy is to identify and access a subset of the highest-quality private equity funds in developed markets.

    Investment strategy

    Throughout the primary partnership investment process, Mesirow Private Equity focuses on investing with managers who have established top-tier franchises and developed sustainable competitive advantages in their industry or area of strategic focus. We target investments in funds managed by firms that have produced consistently strong investment performance, realized low loss rates on invested capital and built deep, stable teams of outstanding professionals with investment, operational and other skills and experience appropriate to their particular strategy and focus.


    A core tenet of Mesirow Private Equity's portfolio construction strategy is that investing in fewer funds, only 8 to 12 funds each year, allows exceptionally performing funds to impact the overall portfolio while still providing diversification by manager, vintage year and sub-asset class strategy. By optimizing capital under management, we retain the ability to remain highly selective, which the firm expects will provide the greatest potential for top-quartile investment performance.

    Mesirow Private Equity's flexible, opportunistic approach to secondary investments is guided by the return potential of each investment. When evaluating secondary investment opportunities, both limited partner stakes and general partner-led restructurings, our investment professionals leverage their ongoing evaluation and monitoring of funds managed by general partners with whom we have a current investment relationship to identify high-quality limited partnership interests at attractive valuations.  


    The objective of our secondary investment strategy is to identify high-quality limited partnership interests at attractive valuations, which we believe may accelerate the capital deployment pace, help mitigate the j-curve and drive early performance.

    Investment strategy

    The goal of the secondary due diligence process is to appropriately price an interest by focusing on the valuation and forecasted cash flows for an existing private equity portfolio. This process leverages key aspects of the firm's primary partnership due diligence process, such as assessing a manager's organizational strengths and weaknesses, gauging the appropriateness of the stage and sector strategies and benchmarking the quality of a manager's prior investment track record. The quantitative assessment of a secondary opportunity includes a company-by-company valuation that relies on public comparables and recent transactions to value the portfolio. In some cases, the investment team utilizes proprietary metrics from its partnership monitoring database to further support its valuation. A conservative forecast of future capital calls and distributions, net of any management fees and carried interest, is prepared taking into account projected operating performance, leverage, sector valuations and holding periods for each of the existing portfolio companies. In most cases, the precision of these analyses is aided by a detailed portfolio review with the manager. 


    Our opportunistic approach allows us flexibility to acquire secondary interests at deep discounts during periods of distress and market dislocations, which may accelerate an overall portfolio's capital deployment pace, help mitigate the j-curve and drive early performance.

    Our co-investment program provides an opportunity to invest in a portfolio of individual company investments alongside some of the industry's top-performing private equity managers.   


    Leverage a subset of Mesirow Private Equity's trusted relationships to source proprietary buyout, growth equity and late stage venture capital co-investment opportunities. 

    Investment strategy

    Co-investment opportunities are evaluated with the goal of identifying companies with the following characteristics:

    • Positive and growing cash flows

    • Low capital expenditure requirements

    • Valuable intellectual property portfolios

    • Experienced management teams with a track record of success in a specific industry

    • Stable / non-cyclical products or services

    Mesirow Private Equity believes that opportunities with these characteristics will reduce the operational and financial risk of a co-investment, while offering the opportunity to achieve outsized returns through the execution of growth and operational improvement initiatives.


    Our co-investment program explores opportunities that include growth financings and leveraged buyout transactions in a variety of sectors, primarily for companies operating in North America and Western Europe. Despite an opportunistic approach, Mesirow Private Equity co-investment portfolios have historically demonstrated balanced sector exposures, including information technology, business services, industrial, healthcare, consumer and telecommunications.

    Investors access Mesirow Private Equity's investment strategies through commingled funds and single investor vehicles (fund-of-ones and separately managed accounts). Mesirow Private Equity's single investor vehicles can be customized to each individual client, offering the ultimate flexibility around investment strategy, client involvement and pricing. 

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    Long-term Commitment

    Mesirow Private Equity is focused on acting in the best long-term interests of its clients.  As such, we believe that environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) considerations are fundamental to risk management and operational excellence, and businesses that manage ESG issues are often well positioned to create long-term value and demonstrate sustainable growth.  While there has been an increase in emphasis on incorporating responsible investment practices and creating sustainable value in the private equity space, we recognize there is continued room for improvement.  Therefore, the firm has adopted a comprehensive ESG policy, which integrates ESG considerations into the firm's investment due diligence process, post-investment monitoring and embedded within our corporate culture as part of our commitment to ethical and responsible behavior. 

    PRI Signatory

    Mesirow proudly became a signatory to the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investing (UNPRI) in 2019.  Mesirow Private Equity is committed to incorporating UNPRI's six principles for responsible investment when evaluating private market opportunities. 

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    In the news

    Mesirow Private Equity Successfully Closes Both Fund-of-Funds and Co-Investment Fund

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    Mesirow Private Equity announced the successful final closings of its most recent private equity fund-of-funds and co-investment fund. Mesirow Private Equity’s investment program provides investors access to high-quality primaries, secondaries and co-investments.

    Read the press release

    Senior leaders

    Headshot of Marc Sacks

    Marc E. Sacks

    Chief Executive Officer | Private Equity

    Headshot of Thomas Galuhn

    Thomas E. Galuhn

    President | Private Equity

    Headshot of Robert DeBolt

    Robert M. DeBolt

    Chief Investment Officer | Private Equity

    Headshot of Courtney Haynes

    Courtney W. Haynes

    Senior Managing Director | Private Equity



    Data as of 6.30.2020.

    Nothing contained herein constitutes an offer to sell nor a solicitation of an offer to buy an interest in any Mesirow investment vehicle. Any offer can only be made to qualified investors through the appropriate Offering Memorandum. The Memorandum contains important information concerning risk factors and other material aspects of the investment and should be read carefully before an investment decision is made. Mesirow Financial Private Equity Partnership Investments are managed by Mesirow Financial Private Equity Advisors, Inc., an SEC registered investment advisor. Past performance is not necessarily indicative of future results. Targeted returns may not necessarily be achieved and materially different returns may be achieved. 

    The Mesirow name and logo are registered service marks of Mesirow Financial Holdings, Inc.