Advisers on Private Equity, the Zurich-based international private equity boutique established in April 1997, aims to hold a first closing on its second fund-of-funds, Private Equity European Partners CV (PEEUP), in the first week of July. PEEUP has a target of ecu 100 million and will be capped at ecu 150 million.
Last year, the group raised $66 million (ecu 60 million) for Private Equity Technology Partners CV (PETP), along with other discretionary commitments that effectively boosted the vehicle’s size to $100 million.
Whereas PETP focuses on venture funds and has a bias toward investment in US partnerships, PEEUP will primarily target Western Europe and will emphasise development capital and small to medium buyout funds, though it will also invest in venture vehicles. As much as 20% of PEEUP may be invested in opportunities in other geographic areas, such as Eastern Europe, the Far East and Latin America, but the fund is precluded from investment in US partnerships.
One of the distinguishing features of Advisers on Private Equity is its willingness to consider first-time funds. PETP may commit up to 20% of its total to first-time offerings, and PEEUP is likely to follow this model.
Bruno Raschle, managing director of Advisers on Private Equity, said the same selection criterion – “expectation of excellent performance” – would be applied when evaluating both funds from established managers and first-time offerings.
No firm maximum and minimum positions have been set for PEEUP. Bruno Raschle explained that the size of PEEUP’s holdings in investee funds would depend both on the quality of the management team and at the size of the individual fund.
The more generalist and European focus of PEEUP in comparison with its predecessor reflects a desire on the part of Advisers on Private Equity’s existing investors for European exposure. It is also a logical step for Advisers on Private Equity as it seeks to develop a genuinely international battery of fund products.
When Advisers on Private Equity began marketing the fund at the beginning of May, commitments from almost all PETP’s investors had already been soft-circled, taking PEEUP around half- way to its target level. PETP’s investor group is split fairly evenly between financial institutions, pension funds and private/family investors, most of them from Continental Europe. Moving forward, Advisers on Private Equity will also market the fund in the UK, US and Far East.
Advisers on Private Equity recently strengthened its management team through the appointment of Dr Andre Jaeggi as a principal. Dr Jaeggi was formerly president and managing director of Prevista Anlagestiftung, one of Switzerland’s largest pension plan investment foundations. Bruno Raschle, Dr Jaeggi and another principal, whose appointment will be announced in the next few weeks, will form the executive management team for PEEUP as the role of Neil Sunderland, one of the firm’s co-founders, shifts from executive to non-executive.