PE firm Aquiline Capital hires execs to launch Tech Growth Fund

New York private equity firm Aquiline Capital Partners is launching a technology growth fund that will invest in early- and growth-stage companies.

The firm said Jan. 4 that it had hired Max Chee and Michael Cichowski to run the Technology Growth Fund.

Chee, the former managing partner of Millennium Technology Value Partners, will head Aquiline Technology Growth. He also worked in Mellon’s PE group and the financial institutions group at Salomon Brothers.

Cichowski was most recently a managing director of a family office, where he led early- and growth-stage venture-capital investments. Before that, he spent seven years at Edison Partners.

The technology growth fund is not part of Aquiline’s existing strategy but an “expansion,” a source familiar with the firm said. Aquiline typically invests in financial services, including banking and credit, insurance, investment management, as well as financial technology and services.

The Technology Growth Fund will make growth- and early-stage investments in “technologies shaping the insurance and financial services industries.”

Aquiline, however, remains a PE firm and is not turning into a venture investor, the source said.

Whether or when Aquiline will fundraise for the Technology Growth Fund is unclear. The firm’s third flagship fund closed on more than $1.1 billion in April, as reported by Buyouts, a VCJ affiliate publication.

Growth funds have gained in popularity among PE firms.

Providence Equity Partners, the media-focused PE firm, in 2014 launched a Strategic Growth Fund to make smaller deals in communications, education and information services. Apax Partners is expected to fundraise soon for its first growth-oriented middle-market fund, Buyouts said in November. Thoma Bravo’s Discover fund, its first lower-middle-market pool, closed at $1.074 billion last year.

Action Item: To contact Max Chee: mchee@aquiline-llc.com

Photo courtesy ©iStock/RomoloTavani