Baring Private Equity Asia begins growing team

The Asia-focussed private equity firm with $5 billion of assets under management has followed up its hire of a real estate head with an ex-Pramerica Real Estate Investors investment professional.

Baring Private Equity Asia has made its second real estate hire after determining to launch a dedicated platform for the asset class.

The Hong Kong-based firm, which in June brought aboard former RREEF and AIG senior executive Mark Fogle to lead the platform, has now added Joji Thomas, an investment professional with a background of doing deals in Korea, India and other parts of Southeast Asia.

Thomas was hired after leaving Pramerica Real Estate Investors (PREI) where he was a vice president of its acquisitions team. According to one peer of his, who declined to be named, he was responsible for closing 24 acquisitions with a value of more than $3 billion during his three year spell with PREI.

While new to real estate, Baring Asia has become one of the best established private equity businesses in the region given its size, numbers of funds and investments.  The firm, which has $5 billion of assets under management, specialises in growth equity investments and mid-market buyouts, typically investing in businesses with enterprise values of between $100 million and $500 million.

Real estate investments are, initially, to be made deploying capital from the Baring’s Fund V which in February closed on its hard cap of $2.5 billion, one of the largest equity hauls for Asia private equity investing to date.