Globally diversified platform targeting the SMID market with unique positioning

Our direct equity investment strategy leverages the benefits of the Hamilton Lane platform and market access, aiming to execute high-quality direct equity investments and construct portfolios positioned to deliver compelling returns for our investors. The strategy is primarily focused on making direct equity investments in companies with small- to mid-sized enterprise values. By diversifying our investments, we seek to minimize market risks associated with over-exposure to a single general partner, geography, industry or deal type or size. Our objective is to maximize the multiple of invested capital as well as the IRR for each of the direct equity investments.

  • Leverage Hamilton Lane's extensive platform to drive unique and differentiated deal flow and access for our investors
  • Provide access to direct equity/ co-investments at preferential fees and terms versus traditional buyout funds
  • Focus on small- and mid-sized investments, with an average of nearly 80% of investments co-underwritten or with proprietary access since 2014*
*As of 09/30/20. Represents invested deals in our Direct Equity funds since 2018.

Opportunities Reviewed in 2021


Direct Equity AUM


Years of Direct Equity Experience

*As of 9/30/21

Case Studies

Project Glass

Investment Thesis

Hamilton Lane was offered the opportunity to invest in a market-leading manufacturer of glass container products in North America. Hamilton Lane’s direct equity investment team diligently reviewed the transaction and was inclined to invest given the favorable forced-seller dynamic and attractive entry price, positive industry tailwinds, and partnership with a leading general partner in its area of expertise.

The HL Angle

Hamilton Lane was one of only two direct equity investors in the transaction. The direct equity investment team leveraged our expansive network of general partners to gather intel on the niche premium glass packaging industry. The favorable forced seller dynamic led to a below-market entry price.

The Outcome

During our investment, the company completed two dividend recapitalizations. The investment was fully exited in December 2016 after a 2.5-year hold via a strategic sale.

Project Auto

Investment Thesis

Project Auto was a direct equity investment opportunity sourced through one of Hamilton Lane’s existing direct equity and primary relationships. The company is a market-leading asset in a highly-fragmented industry with strong historical financial performance and experienced management team backed by a best-in-class general partner with an extensive network of contacts in the sector.

The HL Angle

Hamilton Lane was a strategic partner to the sponsor and also their largest investment partner in the transaction. The firm was involved early in the diligence process prior to deal exclusivity. Our extensive pipeline and investments into similar automotive services-related deals provided strong industry knowledge and sector references.

The Outcome

During the holding period, the company completed five tuck-in acquisitions at accretive multiples. In 2020, the investment was exited as the company was acquired by a portfolio company of a well-known manager, at a total enterprise value of $1.1 billion.

Project Exploration

Investment Thesis

Project Exploration is a preclinical contract research organization. The direct equity investment team was compelled by its strong company positioning, robust free cash flow generation and favorable long-term industry fundamentals. It partnered with an experienced sponsor in its core area of expertise.

The HL Angle

Hamilton Lane received advantaged access in the co-underwriting of the transaction and leveraged diligence from prior successful investments in the clinical research organization space to support investment rational.


The Outcome

During the partnership’s two-year hold, meaningful improvements to the management team, sales organization and operational capabilities were made. In April 2018, the company was sold to a strategic buyer.
Our large, skilled and experienced global team is adept at analyzing complex situations and leverages one of the largest platforms in the private markets industry. Utilizing this network and the data it generates gives us invaluable insights to identify trends and opportunities for our investment decisions, as well as access to unique transactions.
Jeff Armbrister
Head of Direct Equity Investments

Leveraging our database of over 4,600 funds and 60,000+ private companies

Our data advantage is a key differentiator and allows the Direct Equity Investment Team to access an abundance of investment opportunities and information advantages throughout the investment lifecycle, from diligence to allocation to monitoring and reporting. We leverage our firm’s capabilities and in-depth knowledge of the private markets, as well as our significant technological reporting and analytical capabilities, to better understand the value drivers within a given investment and ultimately strive to generate compelling returns for our investors.

Discover Hamilton Lane Technology

Recent Content


The Co-Investment Landscape

Stephanie Davis and Demetrius Sidberry discuss the current co-investment landscape.

Watch the Video

Direct Equity Dashboard: 10 Things on My Mind

F 2020. You read that right. This year, our lives have been upended by this invisible monster, COVID-19. And COVID-19 isn’t even the only problem: Wildfires, civil unrest, social inequity. But in the corner of the world in which we operate, we have endeavored to get a handle on the events that have transpired, and the resulting impact on direct co-investments. Here’s a deeper look at where we stand today.

Read the Research Article

Hamilton Lane Closes Latest Co-Investment Fund above Target

Hamilton Lane Closes Latest Co-Investment Fund above Target

Read the Press Release

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