Kempen spies private markets opportunity among UK wholesale crowd

Dutch fund group’s private equity fund has a minimum term of 10 years

Kempen Capital Management has opened its European Private Equity fund to high-net worth individuals and family offices in the UK.

The closed-ended fund launched in the Netherlands in January but has been made available to UK professional investors prepared to lock money up for a minimum of 10 years.

The fund is a sub-fund of the Luxembourg-domiciled Kempen Alternative Markets Fund Sicav which invests in small buy-outs in countries and sectors across Europe.

Kempen said the aim of the new fund is to create a diversified portfolio over the next three to five years of indirect investments in private equity funds and direct co-investments made directly in a company, alongside a private equity partner.

The fund raised €76m (£66m) in the first closing on 14 February and is currently open for additional subscriptions.

Kempen co-head of private markets Sven Smeets (pictured) said: “The fees involved in direct co-investments are lower than in traditional investments in private equity funds. This is partly the reason why, in our view, the expected returns are higher.

“In the small and lower mid-market of European buy-outs, which is where the smallest funds of the European private equity market are found, there are fewer competitors with a lot of capital than in large-scale buy-outs, while there are many high-quality opportunities. We expect this to offer sound opportunities for return.”

Kempen director of private markets Marvin de Jong added: “Traditionally, investing in private equity via co-investments was the exclusive domain of large institutional investors, such as pension funds. The Kempen European Private Equity fund makes this asset category more accessible to high net worth individuals and family offices.”

Kempen is the latest fund group to spy an opportunity in marketing private assets to wholesale investors. In February Schroders hired Georg Wunderlin to develop its global private assets strategy, after Hermes boosted its fixed income team with the appointment of Carina Spitzkopf as director for private debt.

In November last year M&G unveiled a Credit Income Investment Trust, aimed at the wholesale market, which invests in public and private debt, targeting 70-80% in private market assets over the longer term. It initially raised £100m before adding an additional £25m.


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