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Credit Suisse rises to challenge

Credit Suisse Germany has unveiled its latest private equity offering CS Venture I, a EURO25 million fund-of-funds with a balanced focus on venture and buyout funds in Europe and the US. The investment bank is braving the tough fund raising climate, while many others such as Deutsche Bank and UBS Warburg are taking a step back from this asset class and ceasing new investments. The team anticipates a final close in a year.

The new fund is the first in a series of smaller funds, which Credit Suisse Germany envisages launching annually, targeting the private banking network of Credit Suisse and offering wealthy individuals in Germany an opportunity to tap into the private equity market.

Goetz Jaeger, head of alternative assets at Credit Suisse Germany, is confident that there is demand for this type of product. “We believe the timing is right for our private banking clients to invest in private equity.” Jeremy Golding of Golding Capital Partners, which has been awarded the mandate to structure and manage the fund, is also optimistic about the long term potential for private equity in Germany.

“Maybe the Credit Suisse decision will send a positive signal and help kick-start the market,” he said. He admits it is a bold decision by the bank to launch a fund-of-funds in the current climate, but he adds that feedback so far has been positive.

Golding Capital Partners and Credit Suisse will act as equal partners and contribute their respective private equity resources, networks and expertise to create a product tailored specifically for German private investors. As well as advising Credit Suisse on the structuring of the fund, Golding Capital Partners will manage the fund selection and due diligence process. A joint investment advisory committee will take investment decisions with representatives from both groups.