Though there were always plenty of buyout offers, Moelchert’s investment firm, Private Advisors, remained independent and locally owned since it was founded in 1997.
“We’ve turned away many potential suitors over the years,” said Moelchert, the Henrico firm’s founder and managing partner.
But the latest suitor presented Moelchert with an offer he couldn’t refuse. And on Thursday the two companies announced a deal through which New York Life Investments acquired a 60 percent stake in Private Advisors.
The decision to sell didn’t come easy, said Moelchert, who founded the firm after managing the University of Richmond endowment for several decades.
The two sides were in talks for months before they agreed on the key points.
“It’s always a tough decision when you go through a process like that,” he said.
What helped seal the deal for Moelchert were New York Life’s deep pockets.
Private Advisors, an alternative investment firm that invests in hedge funds and private equity funds, has $3.9 billion in assets under management. New York Life manages more than $275 billion.
Additionally the deal will allow Private Advisors to operate with a large degree of independence and not too much interference from the big bosses in New York, he said.
The financial side of the deal apparently wasn’t too shabby either, though neither side would give any specifics.
“Let’s just say it’s attractive for both Private Advisors and New York Life,” Moelchert said.
Moelchert, 68, said he will remain as managing partner and active in the firm.
The Private Advisors name will also remain intact, as will its 60 full time employees who will join New York Life’s pool of 1,400 workers.
Private Advisors’ 18 equity owners, all of whom are local, will own the remaining 40 percent of the firm if and when the deal closes as expected at year’s end.
Michael Schwartz is a BizSense reporter. Please send news tips to [email protected].