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C.P. Eaton opens in Shanghai

The US-based independent placement agent is eschewing orthodox moves into Hong Kong or Singapore in the hope of stealing a march on its competitors.

Edward Greene, a partner who was based at placement agent C.P. Eaton’s headquarters in Connecticut, is transferring to the firm’s new Asian base to further develop its business in the region.

Greene has spearheaded the firm’s expansion into Asia with the successful launch of four independent Asia-dedicated funds. His prior marketing experience includes institutional sales roles at Mitchell Hutchins and NatWest Securities, while he also held management positions at Credit Lyonnais Securities USA, IMI Mabon and Charles Schwab Capital Markets.

Greene will be supported in Shanghai by Bai Jingjing, an associate who will be focused on business development and relationship building.  Previously, she worked at MediBIC Alliance Co., the investment arm of MediBIC Group. She is trilingual in Chinese, English and Japanese.  

“Locating in Asia gives us first mover advantage,” Greene told PEI Asia in an interview.  

“The obvious choices are Hong Kong and Singapore which are more mature cities with fully built financial eco-systems and easier for a Westerner to assimilate. But the reason for Shanghai is we wanted to leapfrog to the future recognizing that Shanghai is destined to become one of Asia’s core financial centers.” 

Greene added: “For the next 20 to 25 years, Asia will be the natural choice for global investors. Being here early is important. We will grow alongside the development of a fully functioning GP and LP universe. If you are not in Asia in the next three years, you will be too late.”

C.P. Eaton helped to raise $280 million for a first-time fund managed by Capital Today, a Shanghai-based growth capital fund provider established by Kathy Xu, formerly with Baring Private Equity Asia, in 2006. In May 2007, it held the final close of Asia Alternatives Capital Partners, an Asia-focused fund of funds, at $515 million in committed capital – some 47 percent above target. Asia Alternatives has since commenced marketing a second fund targeting Asian growth and buyout funds. 

C.P. Eaton is raising two Asia-based funds and an additional eight domestic funds with strategies including opportunistic real estate, distressed corporate debt and clean energy, in addition to two hedge funds.