Secondary investments

Secondary transactions offer tremendous opportunities for investors and sellers alike. Whether you prefer to invest in a portfolio of existing assets or wish to capture early returns, HarbourVest offers access to attractive secondary investment opportunities. Alternatively, if you’re looking to rebalance your portfolio allocation, raise capital, or simply change direction by selling your private equity interests, HarbourVest is a credible buyer, having committed over $43 billion to secondary markets since 1986.


Decades of experience

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Secondary transactions

For investors, secondary investments are often attractive because investing in existing assets may reduce risk and capital can be put to work faster. However, the challenge lies in sourcing and selecting attractive secondary opportunities, which requires having access to information about the existing portfolio. HarbourVest’s longstanding relationships and experience means we have access to opportunities, insights, and trends that provides our investors an undeniable edge.

Additionally, our secondary investors benefit from our:



We target less efficient areas of the market that offer opportunities to unlock hidden value, structure innovative transactions, and generate attractive returns


Our team is skilled at navigating challenging market conditions and executing a wide range of complex transactions



Given the breadth of our relationships, we have access to proprietary insights that help guide our purchasing decisions

Meet the Secondary team

What is a secondary investment?

A secondary investment occurs when a buyer, like HarbourVest, purchases existing private assets. The seller may want to reduce exposure to a specific stage or region or obtain near-term liquidity on what was intended to be a long-term investment. When this happens, a transfer of interests via a secondary market transaction may be appropriate.

Traditional secondary investments involve the purchase of a limited partnership interest in an existing fund. Increasingly, secondary transactions are becoming more complex. Examples of complex deals include purchases of a portfolio of company investments, captive team spin-outs, fund restructurings, public to private deals, tender offers, and structured solutions. Complex transactions often require significant resources and specialized skills to successfully execute. For buyers with the appropriate resources and experience, the benefit may be relative outperformance based on lower levels of market efficiency and competition.

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Our offices span the globe from Boston to Beijing. Reach out through our contact form or find the HarbourVest location closest to you.

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