Singapore's Oclaner Asset Management, which services family office and ultra-high-net-worth clients, has partnered with Monaco-based private investment firm Codima to broaden both companies' offerings.

The deal, struck last month after undergoing due diligence since June, makes Oclaner the asset management arm of Codima (Compagnie d’Investissements Monaco-Asie). “Through the partnership, Codima will now use our platform to help manage the assets of their client base,” says Ivo Bartoletti, chief executive of Oclaner.

Codima, in turn, becomes Oclaner's direct investment division, enabling the Singapore firm to offer access to a wider range of private assets in Asia and Europe.

“The aim is to have our network and client base grow through Codima’s own network, while providing them with the platform to offer their clients a holistic asset management and family office service,” says Bartoletti. Codima will also use Oclaner's network for sourcing direct investments in Asia.

Codima helps families and institutions to structure and manage cross-border deals between the two regions, including club investments, private equity deals and M&A transactions. The Monaco firm manages the entire process, from sourcing assets to assisting the negotiation process, to creating the appropriate structures, to monitoring and eventual exit of the deal.

The partnership has two deals in the works. In one, Codima is advising on the largest private single-owner residential property development in London, Surrey Canal Development.

Codima also manages all of the European M&A activities for one of the largest South Korean conglomerates, with a focus on acquiring consumer-brand companies. On the advisory side, Codima is involved in transactions worth more than €1 billion.

Interest is growing among Asian families for such assets, with cities such as London proving hot destinations, something property firms are also responding to.

“In this low-interest-yielding environment, we find families looking for unique opportunities outside the typical investment norm,” says Bartoletti. “Given the entrepreneurial backgrounds of Asian families, these usually entail opportunities of a similar nature, such as private equity or real estate development."

Europe is offering opportunistic investments due to widespread distressed valuations. Asian families, in particular, are looking for real estate opportunities in Europe, whether in property development – say, in the hospitality sector – or in building large portfolios of real estate assets, says Bartoletti.

Another key area is the expansion of certain family industries into Europe through strategic acquisitions. There won't be any official transfer of staff between Codima and Oclaner, and there are no plans to add headcount, he notes. However, “if the deal pipeline does build up, we will look to hire”.

Neither firm discloses its AUM figures.