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Stone Point Said to Seek $4.5 Billion for Financials Fund

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Sept. 18 (Bloomberg) -- Stone Point Capital LLC, a private-equity firm that specializes in financial companies, is seeking $4.5 billion for its latest buyout fund, according to two people familiar with the situation.

It is the first fund Stone Point is trying to raise since selling a passive stake in itself to Wafra Investment Advisory Group Inc., a U.S.-based asset manager owned by an agency controlled by the State of Kuwait, said the people, asking not to be identified because the fund is private. The previous fund closed at $3.5 billion in January 2011.

Stone Point, manager of the Trident Funds, is entering a competitive fundraising market where investors are paring down their relationships. London-based research provider Preqin Ltd. said 1,958 private-equity funds were seeking a total of $770 billion as of July 1.

David Wermuth, a senior principal and general counsel at the firm, didn’t return a phone call and e-mailed request for comment.

The firm, which has offices in Greenwich, Connecticut, and New York, typically makes equity investments of $50 million to $350 million, according to its website. It takes controlling stakes or substantial minority positions in companies.

Stone Point invests across various sectors of the financial-services industry including banks and depository institutions, mortgage services, asset management, insurance underwriting and specialty lending.

Last year, Stone Point partnered with KKR & Co. to form MerchCap Solutions LLC, which provides capital markets services to mid-market companies. CPPIB Credit Investments Inc. later became a joint venture partner, investing $50 million in the company. CVC Capital Partners in September of last year led a recapitalization of Stone Point portfolio company Cunningham Lindsey Group Ltd., a loss-adjusting and claims-management firm.

Stone Point’s chief executive officer is Charles Davis, who previously worked at Goldman Sachs Group Inc. for 23 years. Stephen Friedman, who is a retired chairman of Goldman Sachs, is chairman of Stone Point.

To contact the reporter on this story: Sabrina Willmer in New York at swillmer2@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Christian Baumgaertel at cbaumgaertel@bloomberg.net

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