162-year-old Luxembourg bank forms PE unit – exclusive

The move comes a year after Chinese investment group Legend Holdings acquired an 89.9% stake in Banque Internationale à Luxembourg.

Banque Internationale à Luxembourg, a retail, private and corporate banking group, is launching a private equity fund of funds as part of a newly formed unit dedicated to the asset class, Private Equity International has learned.

The group, which has €39.4 billion of assets under management, created the BIL Private Invest fund “to serve the needs of our ultra-high-net-worth investor clients who are looking to invest in PE funds as part of their investment portfolios”, a spokesman told PEI. The vehicle was registered as an alternative investment fund in Luxembourg on 25 September, according to public filings.

BIL PE Management, which was also formed in September, will serve as general partner to the fund, the filings said. The bank already has three subsidiaries in Luxembourg, including Belair House, which provides family office and investment management, and BIL Manage Invest, which specialises in fund structuring, set-up and management services for Luxembourg-based investment funds.

It is unclear how much the fund will target and the spokesman declined to comment further.

Chinese investment group Legend Holdings acquired an 89.9 percent stake in BIL in September 2017. The deal came amid plans to provide “the financial and operational support to maintain and grow the BIL brand domestically and internationally, further enhance its customer offering and support existing management in the delivery of its strategy to achieve sustainable growth,” per a statement at the time.

HNWIs represent a potentially lucrative, and relatively untapped, source of capital for private equity. Blackstone is among those targeting this group, having identified retail investors and the insurance market as offering “an enormous amount of white space” for Blackstone, chief operating officer Jonathan Gray said in May. The firm is working to create products to suit their specific needs.

Founded in 1856, BIL employs more than 2,000 people and has a presence in Switzerland, Denmark, the Middle East and Sweden.

– Isobel Markham contributed to this report.