Hamilton Lane, a private markets investment and advisory firm, has officially opened a Toronto office (its first in Canada), and the office is being led by Mike Woollatt, former director of strategic partnerships at OMERS.
“With Mike on board, we believe we’re well-suited to assist the Government of Canada in this important initiative.
Hamilton Lane has more than 350 employees operating in 15 different offices around the world. However, Hamilton Lane previously had no Canadian office or any full-time staff in the country. Having no offices in Canada likely presented a challenge, particularly when the firm was one of the five fund-of-funds selected as a manager of the federal government’s Venture Capital Catalyst Initiative (VCCI) last year.
Earlier this year, BetaKit learned that Woollatt joined Hamilton Lane as a principal, leading fund investments and co-investments in Canada. At the time, multiple people familiar with the principles involved indicated to BetaKit that Hamilton Lane had been aggressively searching for boots on the ground following the VCCI funding.
“Canada is a global leader in innovation and we believe it is an undercapitalized market with a lot of opportunity, particularly in the venture and growth space,” said Woollatt. “Hamilton Lane has a differentiated platform plus the experience and track record in executing several targeted investment programs, which positions us well to be able to take advantage of the great opportunities this market has to offer.”
Previously, Woollatt was the first CEO of the Canadian Venture Capital and Private Equity Association (CVCA). At the CVCA, Woollatt was responsible for fundraising, connecting with potential investors, and managing existing relationships.
More recently, Woollatt served as the director of strategic partnerships at OMERS after John Ruffolo (who has since departed OMERS) convinced him to join the Toronto-based VC firm from CVCA. Woollatt also previously held several portfolio management, economic advisory, and consulting roles.
Last year, Hamilton Lane was named one of the managers for the first stream of the federal government’s $400-million VCCI, which was created to grow the accessibility of late-stage venture capital in Canada. Woollatt will lead this initiative on behalf of Hamilton Lane.
“Canada is home both to sophisticated institutions and investors with a deep understanding of and appreciation for the private markets, as well as to a dynamic and exciting start-up community,” said Mario Giannini, CEO of Hamilton Lane.
“Hamilton Lane has been managing venture programs across North America for nearly two decades; beyond that, we have one of the longest track records in managing targeted investment programs around the world. With Mike on board, we believe we’re well-suited to assist the Government of Canada in this important initiative,” he stated.
Image courtesy Business Wire