StepStone wins AMP Capital mandate

The Southern California-based private equity advisor will manage AMP’s Future Directions Private Equity Fund and act as the firm’s ‘exclusive’ partner in Australia and New Zealand.

AMP Capital Investors has hired private equity advisor StepStone Group to manage and advise its Future Directions Private Equity Funds to help the firm take advantage of opportunities to buy discounted assets.

The Future Directions Private Equity Funds offer investors a “single access point” to a combination of global investment managers and a diverse mix of asset classes, AMP said in a statement. It did not disclose the size of the funds.

“As AMP’s exclusive partner in Australia and New Zealand, StepStone’s expertise gives us preferred, global access to specialist investment partners,” Sean Henaghan, AMP’s director of the Future Direction Funds, said in a statement. “This enhanced capability in accessing prime private equity assets is especially important given the current volatile economic environment.

“Currently, there are growing opportunities to access discounts illiquid assets, which over time have the potential to provide exceptional returns for our investors,” Henaghan said.

AMP is a specialist investment manager with more than $101 billion in funds under management. AMP is a wholly owned subsidiary of Australian Stock Exchange-listed AMP Limited. The firm has offices in London, Beijing, Tokyo, Mumbai, Singapore, Auckland and Sydney.

Last year, StepStone was picked to represent limited partners in Lehman Brothers Merchant Banking funds, to help guide the investors through the bankruptcy sales process. It also advises clients including the Kuwait Investment Authority, the George Kaiser Family Foundation, the Los Angeles Fire and Pension Pensions and the State of Wisconsin Investment Board.

StepStone hired James Gamett last year as managing director and head of secondary investments, a newly created position as part of its push into the secondaries market.

The firm, based in Southern California, was founded in 2007 by Monte Brem, Thomas Keck and Jose Fernandez after Brem left gatekeeper Pacific Corporate Group.