Private equity group Warburg Pincus is likely to look to raise another fund next year after having moved its Asia fundraising operations from the US to Hong Kong with the appointment of partner Eddie Huang.
Warburg Pincus poached him from Goldman Sachs Asset Management to head fundraising and investor relations in Asia. He had been head of North Asia institutional business at GSAM.
Sources close to GSAM said Tuan Lam, previously a senior member of its alternative investment and manager selection group, has taken up Huang’s old role. The US firm declined to comment.
Huang joined Warburg Pincus in Hong Kong in May. He is looking to tap demand from institutional investors across the region, including sovereign wealth funds, pension funds and insurers.
The firm, with $39 billion in assets under management, said interest in private equity among such entities has been picking up against the backdrop of a low-yield environment.
“Post financial crisis, and the subsequent low-yield environment, many Asian institutions were forced to re-think their asset allocation in terms of sectors, as well as domestic versus overseas,” said Huang.
To take advantage of their longer liability profile and ability to be liquidity providers, many Asia institutions either initiated for the first time new private equity programmes or restarted their legacy exposures to the asset class in search of diversified returns, he added.
“This has created an opportunity for growth-oriented private equity managers, global in nature, that have proven ability to deliver consistent persistent returns.
Warburg Pincus Private Equity XI, the firm’s only fund, invests globally across sectors including financial services, energy and healthcare. It hard-closed at just over $11 billion last year.
Asian demand for PE investment certainly looks to be healthy. In July, KKR closed its Asian II fund at $6 billion, the biggest pan-Asia PE fund to date, with one-quarter of the assets raised from within the region. And the firm’s first Asia vehicle raised $4 billion in 2007, of which $908 million was sourced from the region.