In triplicate

Private equity manager Drean goes for hat trick

Antoine Drean is at it again.

Mr. Drean is the founder and CEO of Triago, a private equity placement agent and secondary market adviser, and Mantra, a firm that is an active investor in listed private equity vehicles. Both companies are based in Paris.

Now he has launched a third company, Palico. Like the other two, this firm is based in Paris and is involved in the private equity market.

Palico is an online “self-service” private equity marketplace for limited partners, general partners and consultants, Mr. Drean said. Without taking a position on any of the investments, the online tool is a sort of matchmaking service for private equity investors, managers and consultants, he said.

“It occurred to me that people are working the way they were 20 years ago,” said Mr. Drean, who travels so frequently to his offices in New York and Dubai that he quipped his real headquarters is on a plane.

“They waste a lot of time on useless travel, meetings and useless research, performing useless tasks that they could automate,” he said.

Through Palico, limited partners can post notices of what areas and strategies they are interested in, including whether they want to invest directly, co-invest or invest through the secondary private equity market, he said. The site, www.palico.com, assists general partners who are now having a harder time raising money by matching them up with interested potential investors.

Palico launched with about 100 firms — 60% investors, 30% managers and 10% consultants — signed up.