ICV Capital Partners has invested in PFM Group, parent of PFM Asset Management LLC and Public Financial Management Inc., the firms announced earlier this month.
The investment will help the firm as it continues to expand its businesses and offer new services. The Michigan Employees Retirement System Strategic Opportunity Fund LP also has invested in the firm.
“We think we have a lot of talent at PFM now, and we think we’ll be able to strengthen areas where we’re maybe not as strong as we’d like to be,” PFM Group chief executive officer F. John White said in an interview. “We’ll also be able to make some acquisitions that might be available for us to do in the market given the way things have been lately.”
As a service provider that provides independent advice, PFM never needed much capital, White said. This equity investment will allow PFM to make acquisitions, pay for capital expenditures, and bring in professionals in places it sees opportunities.
The asset management side has potential for acquisitions because the business is scalable, White said. On the consulting and financial advisory businesses, PFM would be more likely to hire people to join its firm.
Within its financial advisory practice, White said the firm could use additional professionals in the Midwest region and the airport and health care sectors so that it can handle more business.
PFM ranks second nationally as a financial adviser, working on 288 deals with a par value of $16.6 billion in 2009. PFM last year ranked first, working on 693 deals with a par value of $43.2 billion.
The investment will also help the firms when some of its managing directors — who are equity partners — retire. Although all 54 managing directors are staying with the firm for the “foreseeable future,” retirements must be considered for the years ahead, White said.
“We’ll be able to plan for a more orderly transition of responsibilities then we might have otherwise,” White said.
ICV is a private investment firm that focuses on making investments in smaller middle-market companies. Many of its investors are state and local pension funds, and ICV understands the issues public-sector entities deal with, White said.
“We’re lucky to find ICV as a partner,” White said.
ICV managing partner Tarrus Richardson said in a statement: “We are delighted to partner with a world-class management team that has built the market-leading municipal finance and investment advisory business in the U.S. We look forward to providing the management team with growth capital for strategic initiatives such as liftouts of high quality people and acquisitions of asset management businesses.”