Gregory Park, the former Asia head of securitised products at Deutsche Bank, has teamed up with the alternatives arm of Chinese mutual fund house Harvest Fund Management to operate a structured credit fund.
Harvest Northstone Capital is a joint venture between Harvest Alternative Investment Group (HAI) and a team that Park assembled in 2010 with the intention of running an Asia credit-focused hybrid hedge and private equity fund.
However, the Hong Kong-based team – which had operated under the firm Northstone Peak – faced a “tough fundraising environment”, says Park. He adds that they have spent the past year negotiating the joint venture with Harvest.
The team includes Chris Werner, previously Standard Chartered Bank's regional head for North East Asia consumer banking, and Carol Lee, who has more than a decade of experience managing private equity investments for JPMorgan Chase, Merrill Lynch and Henderson Global Investors.
The terms of the JV were not disclosed, although in the past HAI is known to have seeded funds on its platform in return for a 30% stake. Harvest Northstone will target high-yield, mezzanine investments that are backed by assets in the Asian consumer, small and medium-sized enterprise and corporate sectors. The investments will largely be privately sourced and structured.
Park says the firm is in talks with global institutional investors that are seeking Asian exposure, but with a measureable level of risk that is offered by fixed-income assets. The JV is reportedly seeking to raise $150 million for its first fund.
The strategy is the first credit offering on HAI’s platform which hosts a range of funds, including private equity vehicle Harvest Seven Stars Media Fund and the Harvest QDII REITs Fund. Earlier this month, the management of a Greater China-focused hedge fund was transferred to HAI, which had initially seeded the strategy.
HAI chief executive Lindsay Wright says that the new joint venture provides the platform with exposure to a niche area of Asian credit which the firm believes is “underrepresented by the asset management community”.