Bill Strong, a former Morgan Stanley executive who helped Longford Capital attract big-time investors and become a $1 billion business, has resigned as chair of the Chicago-based litigation finance firm, a co-founder confirmed on Tuesday.
Strong will step back from a day-to-day role that saw him serve as the Chicago-based litigation finance firm’s main fundraiser and contact for investors, William Farrell, a Longford co-founder and managing director, said in an interview. Strong remains a member of the firm’s general partner entities and is a limited partner in its three funds.
Meanwhile, Longford last week filed documents with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission showing it had raised nearly $435 million in its third fund. The firm now has more than $1 billion in assets under management, Farrell said, making it one of the larger players in the industry.
“We love working with Bill, he has been a great member of our team and we look forward to continuing to work with him in his role at the management company and at the general partner level,” Farrell said in an interview. “We really appreciate his contributions to Longford Capital. It has been great and we expect it to continue to be great.”
Strong declined comment on the move.
Before joining Longford in 2014, Strong was a longtime executive at Morgan Stanley, ultimately serving as co-chief executive officer of the firm’s Asia Pacific business from 2011 to 2014. His addition to Longford was viewed as a crucial imprimatur for the company as well as the broader litigation finance industry.
Prior to his arrival nearly seven years ago, Longford had raised an initial fund of $56.5 million. Three years after he joined, the firm announced it had raised $500 million for its second fund. A survey in late 2019 showed U.S. funders had committed nearly $10 billion to ongoing cases. Last year, the industry raised more than $1 billion in new funds.
Farrell said Longford has invested all $500 million from its second fund. He said the firm has seen deal flow that is “stronger than ever” during the pandemic, in part driven by an increased interest by corporations seeking to sell portions of their claims upfront in a process known as monetization.
“We have a 36-month tail after things are back to normal for a really robust demand for litigation finance coming out of Covid,” he said.