High-profit Philly investor plans $200M IPO

Hamilton Lane Inc., a Bala Cynwyd-based investment-advisory firm that claims major U.S. pension funds among its clients, filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission today to raise $200 million by selling shares in an intial public stock offering (IPO) on the Nasdaq stock echange, under the symbol HLNE. Read more here.

Hamilton Lane, which employs 280, including 90 investment professionals, in 11 U.S. offices and foreign posts (corrected), manages $40 billion in investment assets, and advises clients on another $274 billion. (By comparison, BlackRock, the largest U.S. money manager, handles around $5 trillion.) 

Advising pension funds and other big investors is a highly profitable business: The firm keeps almost 50 cents of every $1 it collects in customer fees -- after paying all taxes and other expenses. Hamilton Lane says it earned $71 million in after-tax profits last year, on sales of $155 million. That's up from $67 million, on sales of $140 million, in 2014.

The firm told the SEC it plans to use public shareholders' cash to buy out some of its private owners and "for general corporate purposes." Underwriters are led by investment bankers at JPMorgan and Morgan Stanley, and also include others at Goldman Sachs, Keefe Bruyette & Woods and Wells Fargo Securities. 

According to the sale prospectus, Hamilton Lane's top-paid employees include CEO Mario L. Giannini, who collected cash, stock, bonus and investment profits ("carried interest") worth $5.6 million last year; vice chairman Eric Hirsch, who collected $6.1 million; and chairman Hartley R. Rogers, $3.6 million.