Hong Kong dawn

As part of a major push into Asia, Switzerland-headquartered private equity investment specialist Capital Dynamics is to open shop in Hong Kong.

Following in the footsteps of the likes of HarbourVest, Pantheon Ventures, Partners Group, Adams Street and AXA Private Equity, Switzerland-based Capital Dynamics is the latest international private equity investment consultant and fund of funds manager to establish a presence in Asia.

Headquartered in Zug, Switzerland and with existing offices in New York, San Francisco, London and Birmingham, the firm is planning to open an office in Hong Kong in the second half of this year. In addition, the firm is poised to launch an Asia-focused fund of funds product.

Spearheading the Hong Kong project is Markus Ableitinger, a director of investment management, currently based in Zug.An Austrian with nine years in the business, Ableitinger will be supported by professionals with local experience.

Ableitinger told PEI Asia that the firm chose Hong Kong over Singapore because it was home to a large concentration of managers of pan-Asian private equity funds. Rivals Partners Group, AXA and Adams Street Partners have all picked Singapore as their Asian base. HarbourVest and Pantheon Ventures on the other hand are in Hong Kong.

Capital Dynamics plans to launch an Asian fund of funds but isn't ready to divulge the intended size. It will likely contain 12 to 15 managers from various countries with different strategies spanning venture, growth capital and buyouts, Ableitinger said, adding that the venture component would be underweight.

The focus on growth and buyout funds coincides with Capital Dynamics' aim to capture opportunities in the rapidly emerging economies of China, India and other selected ASEAN countries.The firm also hopes to participate in restructuring opportunities in the mature economies of Japan, Korea and, to a lesser extent,Australia.

“Developments in Asia affect our daily lives, and will do so even more as we go forward,” Ableitinger said. “China's GDP will surpass Japan in about 15 years to emerge as the second most powerful industrial base, and India will follow suit. Such developments and other socio-economic and political shifts will influence private equity investing.” Ableitinger added that Asian private equity would inevitably gain a higher level of importance and likely surpass activity levels in Europe within the next 15 years.

Adding an Asian dimension to Capital Dynamics, network of offices was thus aimed at building strong know-how in Asian investment to empower the firm to dispense the best advice on investment opportunities across the region to its clients, Ableitinger explained.

Established in 1999, Capital Dynamics looks after approximately $20 billion of private equity capital via a number of discretionary and advisory accounts, fund of funds, secondary funds and co-investment.