Latest move into VC funds for HNWI


One of the first open-ended venture capital funds of its kind will invest globally in private companies focused on the ‘innovation economy’.
Getty Images

LGT Crestone is partnering with StepStone Private Wealth to offer one of the first open-ended venture capital (VC) funds of its kind, allowing Australian high-net-worth investors (HNWI) to invest in a global, highly diversified portfolio of unlisted, high-growth companies. 

The StepStone Private Venture and Growth Fund (SPRING or the Fund), which is being offered in multiple jurisdictions, will invest globally in private companies focused on the ‘innovation economy,’ and those companies that are benefiting from long-term secular trends, often technology themed.  

“We’ve always had a clear vision: to bring world-class investment opportunities to Australian HNWI. This latest global VC opportunity is a testament to realising this vision,” said Michael Chisholm, CEO at LGT Crestone. 

StepStone Group (Nasdaq: STEP) is one of the largest private market investment managers in the world. Last year, it allocated more than US$75 billion across private equity, infrastructure, private debt and real estate. Growing its reach even further, in 2021, StepStone acquired Greenspring Associates, one of the world’s largest allocators within the VC ecosystem. StepStone’s venture platform comprises one of the largest asset teams dedicated to the VC and Growth asset class, with over US$31 billion in assets under management as of March 31, 2022 and some 240-plus manager relationships. 

“SPRING is one of the first funds specifically designed for private clients and smaller institutions that offers a truly diversified exposure to the leading fund managers and portfolio companies within the VC and growth equity landscape,” said Martin Randall, Head of Alternatives at LGT Crestone. 

VC and growth equity are positioned to play an even more important role in portfolios as value creation attributed to the public markets in the past, shifts to the private markets, according to Randall. 

“Companies are staying private for longer, often making a choice not to list. Many of these companies are creating value at a much more rapid rate than public companies, which are diminishing significantly in number in the US,” he says. 

“In 1996 for example, there were some 7,300 listed companies in the US. By 2016, that number had dropped to just 3,600, which combined with greater (public) information efficiencies today, makes it harder for fund managers to extract alpha from publicly traded shares”.  

LGT Crestone will be taking a global cornerstone position in SPRING which will be available to LGT Crestone clients in Australia until the end of this financial year.