Martin Currie boosts private equity offering

Martin Currie has strengthened its private equity offering by launching a new fund and forming a private equity advisory panel. The panel will advise Martin Currie on specific private equity investments and give strategic guidance to the firm as it builds its private equity business. The members of the panel are: David Shaw, chairman of Bridgepoint; Neil Hood, a well-known Scottish businessman an academic who sits on the board of a number of public companies; David Shearer, a former senior partner at Deloitte & Touche in Scotland and Northen Ireland; Patrick Wilmerding, an experienced banker and private equity investor and John Gooch, recently retired from a senior role with Wellington Management, a US fund manager.

The firm has also launched a new, listed private equity investment trust. The new mid-market fund-of-funds is sponsored by Cazenove and will also have a direct co-investment capacity. Fund raising is going well and the fund is expected to start making investments on 19 December.

Paul Murray, Martin Currie’s managing director of private equity, said: “I believe that we can build a private equity business of real scale within Martin Currie, adding a further leg to the business. Our advisory panel and new fund will help us do just that.”

The new fund will complement Martin Currie’s existing listed vehicle, the £100m Martin Currie Capital Return Trust which also has an active co-investment programme. Most recently in July 20003 it invested £3m in Pizza Express.