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Capstone pushes into Asia

The real estate and private equity placement agent has appointed Heidrik & Struggles partner Sheng Lu to head its new Shanghai office.

US-headquartered placement agent Capstone Partners has opened an office in Shanghai, its first in Asia.

The firm has recruited Sheng Lu to lead its effort in the region. Lu was most recently a partner at recruitment specialists Heidrick & Struggles, where he headed the firm’s Asia fund placement initiative. Prior to this, Lu served as an adviser to China-focused growth capital fund Milestone Capital.

Through its Shanghai office, Capstone plans to increase the number of Asian real estate and private equity funds on its books and also build “closer relationships with Asian investors, including sovereign wealth funds”, said Tripp Brower, US-based partner at Capstone Partners, in a statement.

“The Asia Pacific region offers enormous potential to both private equity and real estate investors, with an increasing number of talented investment firms, well positioned to create value in markets with attractive and very significant investment opportunities,” he said.

Capstone is not the only North American placement agent to launch into Asia this year. In April, San Francisco-based Probitas Partners opened a Hong Kong office, appointing former AIG Investments executive Edwin Chan as Asia head. Also this year, La Jolla, California-based private equity gatekeeper StepStone marked its first foray into Asia with the winning of an exclusive mandate from AMP Capital Investors. The firm is in the process of setting up its first office outside the US, which will be based in Beijing.

Capstone Partners was founded in 2001 and has offices in Dallas and Geneva. Since inception, the firm has worked on over 20 real estate and private equity fundraising mandates, garnering over $7 billion in commitments.