Program Highlights

  • An active participant in the U.S. lower middle market since 1995
  • Led by senior team with over 115 years combined private markets experience
  • Investing in funds, co-investments and secondaries
  • Partnering with independent sponsors on direct investments
  • Raised $501M for Aberdeen Standard Private Equity Fund IX in 2021
  • Raised $556M for Secondary Opportunities Fund IV in 2021 (including associated managed accounts)
Leaders in Middle Market Private Equity

What we offer our clients

Primary=Investments

Primary investments

Primary investments are commitments made to private equity funds. A portfolio of commingled primary fund investments gives investors access to the expertise of multiple fund managers and a variety of companies through a single allocation. Our long experience as a primary investor allows our clients to benefit from the following:

  • A rigorous, time-tested evaluation process
  • Access to hard-to-access leading managers and best-in-class emerging managers, providing exceptional choice of opportunities
  • More than two decades of relationship building

If you are a potential investor, fund manager, or sponsor and would like to learn more please contact us.

Co-investments

Co-investments

Co-investments are direct investments into companies and are made alongside General Partners or Independent Sponsors.

Our team has deep principal and co-sponsored investment experience. We have spent decades developing relationships with General Partners and Independent Sponsors resulting in a unique sourcing model that allows us to access high-quality investment opportunities.  We then apply a rigorous, disciplined, and time-tested process to identify and execute on the most attractive opportunities.

For our investors, we believe that there are many benefits to co-investing, including the ability to gain exposure to attractive investment opportunities.

For sponsors, we seek to build a lasting relationship and be a reliable and efficient equity capital partner.

If you are a potential investor, fund manager, or Independent Sponsor and would like to learn more please contact us.

Secondary-Investments

Secondary investments

Secondary investments involve the buying and selling of pre-existing investor commitments to private equity funds. We are well placed and active in the secondary market where our deep relationships, strong reputation and network of intermediaries give us a distinct advantage and allow us to offer our clients excellent access to this market. If you are a potential investor or secondary seller and would like to learn more please contact us.

Equity Trust

Private markets solutions

Private markets refer to investments not traded on a public exchange or market. In the past they were often considered too hard to access, opaque or niche for traditional investors. Now, private markets are valued and accepted as an attractive means to diversify a portfolio and achieve enhanced long-term return potential.

ASI has a long track record of managing private market strategies spanning real estate, private equity, infrastructure, real assets and private credit as well as having developed a number of innovative private markets solutions.

Today, we work closely with investors from large pension funds to private wealth clients to help them harness the potential of private markets to meet their specific investment goals.

If you are a potential investor and would like to learn more please contact us.

  • Primary=Investments

    Primary investments

    Primary investments are commitments made to private equity funds. A portfolio of commingled primary fund investments gives investors access to the expertise of multiple fund managers and a variety of companies through a single allocation. Our long experience as a primary investor allows our clients to benefit from the following:

    • A rigorous, time-tested evaluation process
    • Access to hard-to-access leading managers and best-in-class emerging managers, providing exceptional choice of opportunities
    • More than two decades of relationship building

    If you are a potential investor, fund manager, or sponsor and would like to learn more please contact us.

  • Co-investments

    Co-investments

    Co-investments are direct investments into companies and are made alongside General Partners or Independent Sponsors.

    Our team has deep principal and co-sponsored investment experience. We have spent decades developing relationships with General Partners and Independent Sponsors resulting in a unique sourcing model that allows us to access high-quality investment opportunities.  We then apply a rigorous, disciplined, and time-tested process to identify and execute on the most attractive opportunities.

    For our investors, we believe that there are many benefits to co-investing, including the ability to gain exposure to attractive investment opportunities.

    For sponsors, we seek to build a lasting relationship and be a reliable and efficient equity capital partner.

    If you are a potential investor, fund manager, or Independent Sponsor and would like to learn more please contact us.

  • Secondary-Investments

    Secondary investments

    Secondary investments involve the buying and selling of pre-existing investor commitments to private equity funds. We are well placed and active in the secondary market where our deep relationships, strong reputation and network of intermediaries give us a distinct advantage and allow us to offer our clients excellent access to this market. If you are a potential investor or secondary seller and would like to learn more please contact us.

  • Equity Trust

    Private markets solutions

    Private markets refer to investments not traded on a public exchange or market. In the past they were often considered too hard to access, opaque or niche for traditional investors. Now, private markets are valued and accepted as an attractive means to diversify a portfolio and achieve enhanced long-term return potential.

    ASI has a long track record of managing private market strategies spanning real estate, private equity, infrastructure, real assets and private credit as well as having developed a number of innovative private markets solutions.

    Today, we work closely with investors from large pension funds to private wealth clients to help them harness the potential of private markets to meet their specific investment goals.

    If you are a potential investor and would like to learn more please contact us.

Information for:

prospective investors

Prospective investors

As one of the world’s leading managers of private markets assets, we can provide our clients access to unlisted investment opportunities worldwide. We offer investors extensive access to opportunities across all key private markets asset classes. We are one of the top 10 private markets managers in the world,* managing assets in private markets solutions worth around $22.4 billion(C$29.0 billion). We are truly global in our reach, with over 400 professionals dedicated to private markets, based in 19 offices around the world.**

All our activities across private markets are driven by three core beliefs:

  • High-quality research and fundamental investment understanding underpins sustainable outperformance
  • Connected, collaborative teams deliver better private markets investment outcomes by harnessing their collective expertise
  • Embedding environmental, social and governance (ESG) and impact investing into the investment process is key to being an active and engaged manager of private markets assets
  • By adhering to these three principles, we look to generate positive, reliable and sustainable outcomes for our clients throughout all market and economic conditions.

If you are a potential investor and would like to learn more please contact us.

* Source: Willis Towers Watson FTfm - Alternatives Survey December 2016.
**As of December 31, 2019

current investors

Current investors

fund managers

Fund managers

ASI has been investing in North American private equity for over two decades. With a core focus on the middle and lower middle market, ASI has allocated to over 100 funds since 1995. A testament to the firm’s value-add, we have been asked to join the limited partner advisory boards for the vast majority of funds to which we commit. If you are interested in speaking with the U.S. Private Equity team, you can reach us here.

independent sponsors

Independent sponsors

As the private equity landscape has evolved in recent years, independent sponsors have continued to become an ever more meaningful part of the broader ecosystem. In our effort to continually identity the best and most innovative investment opportunities in the North American lower middle market we have partnered with independent sponsors on direct investments. Our senior team is led by professionals with deep direct private equity experience allowing us to bring unique perspective and diligence capabilities to independent sponsor sourced investments.

If you are interested in speaking with the U.S. Private Equity team, you can reach us here.

  • prospective investors

    Prospective investors

    As one of the world’s leading managers of private markets assets, we can provide our clients access to unlisted investment opportunities worldwide. We offer investors extensive access to opportunities across all key private markets asset classes. We are one of the top 10 private markets managers in the world,* managing assets in private markets solutions worth around $22.4 billion(C$29.0 billion). We are truly global in our reach, with over 400 professionals dedicated to private markets, based in 19 offices around the world.**

    All our activities across private markets are driven by three core beliefs:

    • High-quality research and fundamental investment understanding underpins sustainable outperformance
    • Connected, collaborative teams deliver better private markets investment outcomes by harnessing their collective expertise
    • Embedding environmental, social and governance (ESG) and impact investing into the investment process is key to being an active and engaged manager of private markets assets
    • By adhering to these three principles, we look to generate positive, reliable and sustainable outcomes for our clients throughout all market and economic conditions.

    If you are a potential investor and would like to learn more please contact us.

    * Source: Willis Towers Watson FTfm - Alternatives Survey December 2016.
    **As of December 31, 2019

  • current investors

    Current investors

  • fund managers

    Fund managers

    ASI has been investing in North American private equity for over two decades. With a core focus on the middle and lower middle market, ASI has allocated to over 100 funds since 1995. A testament to the firm’s value-add, we have been asked to join the limited partner advisory boards for the vast majority of funds to which we commit. If you are interested in speaking with the U.S. Private Equity team, you can reach us here.

  • independent sponsors

    Independent sponsors

    As the private equity landscape has evolved in recent years, independent sponsors have continued to become an ever more meaningful part of the broader ecosystem. In our effort to continually identity the best and most innovative investment opportunities in the North American lower middle market we have partnered with independent sponsors on direct investments. Our senior team is led by professionals with deep direct private equity experience allowing us to bring unique perspective and diligence capabilities to independent sponsor sourced investments.

    If you are interested in speaking with the U.S. Private Equity team, you can reach us here.

Our team

Merrick Mckay

Merrick McKay

Head of Europe - Private Equity

Merrick joined the company in 2014 and is based in the Edinburgh and London offices. abrdn's European Private Equity business, with over €8bn AuM, encompasses primary and secondary fund investments and co-investment activities undertaken by a team of over 30 investment professionals. Merrick is Head of Europe and a member of the abrdn Private Equity Investment Committee.
An Australian, Merrick has over 25 years’ experience in the European private equity industry. Prior to joining abrdn, Merrick was Head of European Investments and Senior Partner of Macquarie’s Private Markets division. Previous roles include 13 years as a Partner and Investment Committee member of Primary Capital (the London-based, lower mid-market private equity firm) where he was responsible for leading, originating and managing numerous private equity investments in the UK. Merrick holds Bachelor of Commerce and Bachelor of Laws degrees from the University of Queensland.
Merrick is a regular speaker at private equity conferences, and is a member of Invest Europe’s Limited Partner Council.
mark nicolson

Mark Nicolson

Head of Primary Investments

Mark is based in Edinburgh and joined the company in 2007. He is responsible for making investments across the private equity spectrum (Primaries, Secondaries and Co-investments) as well as having overall responsibility for abrdn's Primary Investment business.

Mark is a member of abrdn's Private Equity Operating Committee and Investment Committee. He also sits on the Advisory Boards of a number of leading private equity funds. Prior to the merger that created abrdn in 2017, Mark was a Partner and Head of Primary Investments at SL Capital Partners where he joined in 2007. Before this, Mark spent seven years working as a lead adviser in the corporate finance teams of EY and KPMG, focusing principally on buyouts. Mark is a Chartered Accountant and has BA (Joint Honours) degrees in Accounting and Economics from the University of Strathclyde. Mark is also a Fellow of the Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment.
Patricl Knechtli

Patrick Knechtli

Head of Secondaries

Based in Edinburgh, Patrick heads up the secondaries team of abrdn and is involved across the private markets activities of the firm. He joined predecessor firm SL Capital in 2009, which then merged with the company’s private markets business in 2017. Prior to joining, Patrick spent eight years at Coller Capital in London, where he worked on numerous secondary portfolio transactions. His early career consisted of seven years in investment banking, first at Baring Brothers and then at ABN Amro Corporate Finance. Patrick has a MA (Hons) in Modern Languages from the University of Exeter and is fluent in French and Spanish.
Collin Burrow

Colin Burrow

Head of Co-Investments

Colin Burrow is Head of Co-Investments based in the Edinburgh office. He is responsible for all aspects of co-investing including sourcing, evaluating and execution. He is a member of the Investment Committee. Colin joined the company in 2014 from the Scottish Widows Investment Partnership (SWIP) heritage team. Prior to joining SWIP in 2013, he led a dedicated co-investment team at Lloyds Banking Group responsible for origination and asset management. Colin joined Lloyds from Bridgepoint where as an Investment Director he spent six years investing in mid-market European buyouts. He began his career advising on mid-market buyouts with Andersen Corporate Finance. Colin holds an LLB (Hons) in Law from the University of Strathclyde and a Securities Institute Diploma.
John Dickie

John Dickie

Co-Head of Private Equity USA

John Dickie is Co-Head of Private Equity USA based in the Boston office. His primary responsibilities include sourcing, evaluating and executing primary investments and co-investments and he is a member of the Investment Committee. John joined the company in 2015 from the FLAG Capital Management heritage team where he held a role of Principal. Prior to joining FLAG in 2010, John was a Principal at Berkshire Partners. Previously, he worked at DLJ Merchant Banking Partners as a Senior Analyst-Private Equity. He began his career with Credit Suisse First Boston as a Financial Analyst in the Investment Banking division. John holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and a BA in Economics from Middlebury College.
Scott Reed

Scott Reed

Co-Head of Private Equity USA

Scott Reed is Co-Head of Private Equity USA based in the Boston office. He joined the company in 2015 from the FLAG Capital Management heritage team where he held a similar role as Partner and Head of the Private Equity strategy. Prior to joining FLAG in 2007, Scott was a Principal at Portico Capital LLC, and a Senior Associate at J.H. Whitney & Co. Previously, he worked at Goldman, Sachs & Co. and Morgan Stanley Dean Witter & Co. Scott holds an MBA from the Amos Tuck School at Dartmouth College and a BA in Economics with Mathematics Concentration from Colby College and the London School of Economics.
Peter Lawrence

Peter Lawrence

Co-Head Global Venture Capital

Peter Lawrence oversees the abrdn Venture Partners program alongside Kirsten Morin and is a member of the strategy’s investment committee. As a co-founder of FLAG Capital Management, Peter has focused exclusively on venture capital fund investments and has been a member of the firm’s Private Equity investment committee since inception. Prior to co-founding FLAG in 1994, Peter spent twelve years managing both direct and indirect venture capital and private equity portfolios as Executive Vice President of the Marshall Field family office. He has over 30 years of experience in the private equity business. Peter holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and a BA from Trinity College.
Kirsten Morin

Kirsten Morin

Co-Head Global Venture Capital

Kirsten oversees the abrdn Venture Partners program alongside Peter Lawrence and has been focused on the abrdn Venture Partners program since joining the firm in 2005. She has been involved in all aspects of the investment process, and has been particularly involved in screening the emerging manager ecosystem for investment opportunities. Kirsten also plays a central role in manager due diligence and oversees junior team members in the investment and fund monitoring process. She has worked on the AVP funds for the last sixteen years and was a Principal at FLAG Capital Management prior to its acquisition by AAMI in 2015. Prior to joining FLAG in 2005, Kirsten worked for IBM in a variety of analytical roles. Kirsten holds a BS from Babson College. She has over 16 years of venture capital experience.
Cammy Graham

Cameron Graham

Deputy Head of Secondaries – Private Equity

Cameron is based in the Edinburgh office and joined SL Capital Partners in 2008. SL Capital merged with the private markets team of Aberdeen Asset Management in 2017, when Aberdeen Standard Investments was formed. He has involvement in all aspects of primary fund investments, co-investments and has a particular focus on the secondary market. Cameron also has specific responsibility for the firm’s investment activities and relationships in the French market. He sits on the advisory boards of a number of European GPs. Before joining SL Capital, Cameron worked at Ernst & Young in their Financial Services Advisory practice.

Cameron has a BSc (Hons) degree in Management with French from the University of St Andrews

Karin Hyland

Karin Hyland

Senior Investment Director – Private Equity

Karin is a Senior Investment Director and member of abrdn’s Private Equity Operating Committee. She is responsible for sourcing, evaluating and executing co-investments and secondary transactions. Karin has been with abrdn since 2006. In this time, Karin has developed strong relationships with European private equity and private debt funds, with a particular focus on UK funds.

Karin holds a BA (Hons) in International Business and Modern Languages from the University of Strathclyde.

  • Merrick Mckay

    Merrick McKay

    Head of Europe - Private Equity

    Merrick joined the company in 2014 and is based in the Edinburgh and London offices. abrdn's European Private Equity business, with over €8bn AuM, encompasses primary and secondary fund investments and co-investment activities undertaken by a team of over 30 investment professionals. Merrick is Head of Europe and a member of the abrdn Private Equity Investment Committee.
    An Australian, Merrick has over 25 years’ experience in the European private equity industry. Prior to joining abrdn, Merrick was Head of European Investments and Senior Partner of Macquarie’s Private Markets division. Previous roles include 13 years as a Partner and Investment Committee member of Primary Capital (the London-based, lower mid-market private equity firm) where he was responsible for leading, originating and managing numerous private equity investments in the UK. Merrick holds Bachelor of Commerce and Bachelor of Laws degrees from the University of Queensland.
    Merrick is a regular speaker at private equity conferences, and is a member of Invest Europe’s Limited Partner Council.
  • mark nicolson

    Mark Nicolson

    Head of Primary Investments

    Mark is based in Edinburgh and joined the company in 2007. He is responsible for making investments across the private equity spectrum (Primaries, Secondaries and Co-investments) as well as having overall responsibility for abrdn's Primary Investment business.

    Mark is a member of abrdn's Private Equity Operating Committee and Investment Committee. He also sits on the Advisory Boards of a number of leading private equity funds. Prior to the merger that created abrdn in 2017, Mark was a Partner and Head of Primary Investments at SL Capital Partners where he joined in 2007. Before this, Mark spent seven years working as a lead adviser in the corporate finance teams of EY and KPMG, focusing principally on buyouts. Mark is a Chartered Accountant and has BA (Joint Honours) degrees in Accounting and Economics from the University of Strathclyde. Mark is also a Fellow of the Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment.
  • Patricl Knechtli

    Patrick Knechtli

    Head of Secondaries

    Based in Edinburgh, Patrick heads up the secondaries team of abrdn and is involved across the private markets activities of the firm. He joined predecessor firm SL Capital in 2009, which then merged with the company’s private markets business in 2017. Prior to joining, Patrick spent eight years at Coller Capital in London, where he worked on numerous secondary portfolio transactions. His early career consisted of seven years in investment banking, first at Baring Brothers and then at ABN Amro Corporate Finance. Patrick has a MA (Hons) in Modern Languages from the University of Exeter and is fluent in French and Spanish.
  • Collin Burrow

    Colin Burrow

    Head of Co-Investments

    Colin Burrow is Head of Co-Investments based in the Edinburgh office. He is responsible for all aspects of co-investing including sourcing, evaluating and execution. He is a member of the Investment Committee. Colin joined the company in 2014 from the Scottish Widows Investment Partnership (SWIP) heritage team. Prior to joining SWIP in 2013, he led a dedicated co-investment team at Lloyds Banking Group responsible for origination and asset management. Colin joined Lloyds from Bridgepoint where as an Investment Director he spent six years investing in mid-market European buyouts. He began his career advising on mid-market buyouts with Andersen Corporate Finance. Colin holds an LLB (Hons) in Law from the University of Strathclyde and a Securities Institute Diploma.
  • John Dickie

    John Dickie

    Co-Head of Private Equity USA

    John Dickie is Co-Head of Private Equity USA based in the Boston office. His primary responsibilities include sourcing, evaluating and executing primary investments and co-investments and he is a member of the Investment Committee. John joined the company in 2015 from the FLAG Capital Management heritage team where he held a role of Principal. Prior to joining FLAG in 2010, John was a Principal at Berkshire Partners. Previously, he worked at DLJ Merchant Banking Partners as a Senior Analyst-Private Equity. He began his career with Credit Suisse First Boston as a Financial Analyst in the Investment Banking division. John holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and a BA in Economics from Middlebury College.
  • Scott Reed

    Scott Reed

    Co-Head of Private Equity USA

    Scott Reed is Co-Head of Private Equity USA based in the Boston office. He joined the company in 2015 from the FLAG Capital Management heritage team where he held a similar role as Partner and Head of the Private Equity strategy. Prior to joining FLAG in 2007, Scott was a Principal at Portico Capital LLC, and a Senior Associate at J.H. Whitney & Co. Previously, he worked at Goldman, Sachs & Co. and Morgan Stanley Dean Witter & Co. Scott holds an MBA from the Amos Tuck School at Dartmouth College and a BA in Economics with Mathematics Concentration from Colby College and the London School of Economics.
  • Peter Lawrence

    Peter Lawrence

    Co-Head Global Venture Capital

    Peter Lawrence oversees the abrdn Venture Partners program alongside Kirsten Morin and is a member of the strategy’s investment committee. As a co-founder of FLAG Capital Management, Peter has focused exclusively on venture capital fund investments and has been a member of the firm’s Private Equity investment committee since inception. Prior to co-founding FLAG in 1994, Peter spent twelve years managing both direct and indirect venture capital and private equity portfolios as Executive Vice President of the Marshall Field family office. He has over 30 years of experience in the private equity business. Peter holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and a BA from Trinity College.
  • Kirsten Morin

    Kirsten Morin

    Co-Head Global Venture Capital

    Kirsten oversees the abrdn Venture Partners program alongside Peter Lawrence and has been focused on the abrdn Venture Partners program since joining the firm in 2005. She has been involved in all aspects of the investment process, and has been particularly involved in screening the emerging manager ecosystem for investment opportunities. Kirsten also plays a central role in manager due diligence and oversees junior team members in the investment and fund monitoring process. She has worked on the AVP funds for the last sixteen years and was a Principal at FLAG Capital Management prior to its acquisition by AAMI in 2015. Prior to joining FLAG in 2005, Kirsten worked for IBM in a variety of analytical roles. Kirsten holds a BS from Babson College. She has over 16 years of venture capital experience.
  • Cammy Graham

    Cameron Graham

    Deputy Head of Secondaries – Private Equity

    Cameron is based in the Edinburgh office and joined SL Capital Partners in 2008. SL Capital merged with the private markets team of Aberdeen Asset Management in 2017, when Aberdeen Standard Investments was formed. He has involvement in all aspects of primary fund investments, co-investments and has a particular focus on the secondary market. Cameron also has specific responsibility for the firm’s investment activities and relationships in the French market. He sits on the advisory boards of a number of European GPs. Before joining SL Capital, Cameron worked at Ernst & Young in their Financial Services Advisory practice.

    Cameron has a BSc (Hons) degree in Management with French from the University of St Andrews

  • Karin Hyland

    Karin Hyland

    Senior Investment Director – Private Equity

    Karin is a Senior Investment Director and member of abrdn’s Private Equity Operating Committee. She is responsible for sourcing, evaluating and executing co-investments and secondary transactions. Karin has been with abrdn since 2006. In this time, Karin has developed strong relationships with European private equity and private debt funds, with a particular focus on UK funds.

    Karin holds a BA (Hons) in International Business and Modern Languages from the University of Strathclyde.