Fund-of-Funds House of the Year

Swiss alternative asset manager Partners Group calculates that estimated assets under management at the end of December 2007 reached CHF 24.4bn (US$22.1bn), corresponding to a net growth of CHF 7.1bn for the full year 2007 and representing the highest ever annual increase the fund-of-funds manager has ever recorded.

Of those funds under management, the biggest growth segment was private debt which increased by a whopping 118% to CHF 2.4bn or 10% of Partners Group’s total funds. Listed alternative investments increased by 80% to total CHF 1.4bn by the end of 2007.

Private equity accounted for CHF 16.7bn of funds under management, up by 46% on the total for 2006. Year-on-year hedge funds remained constant at CHF 2.7bn; wealth management increased by 13% to CHF 0.9bn; and a new source of funds from private real estate accounted for CHF 0.3bn of the total.

“The investment environment in 2007 once again confirmed the importance of a broad global investment approach. While large buyouts came to a standstill with the credit crisis, we have been very active in the small and mid-cap space and have seen a surge of volume in the secondary market as well as the re-emergence of the mezzanine business at significantly improved terms. We are convinced that the current market dislocations offer our clients attractive investment opportunities,” says Alfred Gantner, executive chairman of Partners Group.

Approximately CHF4.3bn funds growth was achieved in each of the half-year periods. Redemptions for the year totalled CHF 1.6bn, exclusively stemming from the public alternative investment strategies business. Other factors – mainly foreign exchange effects – contributed marginally with CHF 0.1bn.

“The consistently strong double-digit investment performance achieved for our clients combined with the shift in investors’ allocations to the alternative asset class has allowed a further solid growth of the business during 2007. Reflecting the globalization of the private equity industry, we have expanded our global footprint and opened new offices in San Francisco and Tokyo in 2007 for a total of seven offices worldwide. To further strengthen the leading position we have established in Asia, additional offices in Beijing and Sydney are planned for the first half of 2008,” says Steffen Meister, CEO of Partners Group

Partners Group increased the number of its employees from 175 at the end of 2006 to 273 by the end of 2007. Partners Group’s new offices in San Francisco and Tokyo were opened during the first half of the year, and the asset manager is planning new offices in Beijing, Luxembourg and Sydney in the first half of 2008.