Former EnTrust/Permal investment heads join Jackson Hole Capital Partners to launch new alternatives platform

Grand Teton mountains, Jackson Hole

Jackson Hole Capital Partners, the Tulsa-based asset manager, is launching a new alternatives investment platform to be run by two former investment heads from Permal and EnTrust – Robert Kaplan and Christopher Keenan – who have joined the firm as managing partners.

The new platform, Jackson Hole Investment Partners, is focused on proprietary sourced direct and co-investments in equity and debt markets – two areas where the managers see attractive opportunities for a differentiated return stream in high-conviction ideas. 
 
Kaplan was previously senior managing director and member of the EnTrustPermal Global Investment Committee – having previously served as chief investment officer at Permal Group, the alternative investment firm that managed approximately USD40 billion of assets at its peak. 

Keenan was also a senior managing director, co-head of global investments, member of the EnTrustPermal Global Investment Committee, and head of co-investments – where he led the firm’s USD8 billion co-investment programme.
 
Jackson Hole Capital Partners was founded in 2017 by John Hastings and Channing Smith, in partnership with the Biolchini family of Tulsa, who own Vast Bank in Oklahoma and Bank of Jackson Hole in Wyoming. 

The business now manages capital on behalf of the principals of the firm, the Biolchini family, and a select group of private and institutional investors. The expansion into alternatives broadens the firm’s product offerings and, with the arrival of the new managing partners, extends its geographical reach into New York and Park City.

“In a world where certain assets feel fully priced, the managers believe that a curated set of well-vetted, alternative investments adds diversification to investment portfolios and the potential for enhanced returns,” the firm said in a statement. “The alternative offerings will be through a mix of new single-purpose vehicles as well as more diversified closed-end investment portfolios.” 

Hastings, managing partner and founder of Jackson Hole Capital Partners, comments: “As we continue to develop Jackson Hole Capital Partners, the move into alternatives is the natural next step.” 

He adds: “Investors are not simply looking for traditional equity and bond portfolios, they want broader diversification in public as well as private markets. In return, we believe investors are willing to trade some liquidity for a more attractive opportunity set that is less dependent upon equity and credit markets. Bringing Rob and Chris on board as partners is a major coup for the firm, giving us market leading alternative experience.”
 
Says Kaplan: “We see this as a really exciting opportunity to build an alternatives business. I am delighted to be back with Chris and John and focusing on longer-duration investments, where we have many years of investing experience, both at Permal and EnTrust. We are looking for opportunities that provide idiosyncratic returns with less exposure or reliance on the overall directionality of equity and credit markets, which we believe is increasingly important particularly in the current market environment.”

Tom Biolchini – Jackson Hole Capital Partners board member, chairman of Vast Bank and vice chairman of Bank of Jackson Hole – says the addition of an alternatives arm “is a transformative move for Jackson Hole Capital Partners and broadens the firm’s reach far beyond Tulsa and Wyoming”. 

Adds Biolchini: “As a family office investor, we are always looking for new investment ideas and see some of the best opportunities in the alternatives space.”