3i hires IR director in Asia

Lisa Johnson has joined 3i’s debt management arm shortly after the firm said it would make no new equity investments in the region.

UK-listed private equity firm 3i has hired Lisa Johnson as director of investor relations in Asia, according to a company statement. She will be based in the firm’s Singapore office and focus on developing client relationships in the region. 

Johnson joins the firm from Parker Global Strategies, where she worked as senior vice-president developing relationships with investors. She has worked in cities across Asia for seven years, including Singapore, Mumbai and Shanghai. 

3i said Johnson will not be available for interviews until a later date. 

The new appointment comes as 3i ramps up its debt investing capabilities globally, in particular expanding its business in Asia, according to the firm. During her experience in Asia, Johnson has built “strong and long-lasting relationships with leading investors”, including sovereign wealth funds, family offices, pension funds, endowments and foundations.

“Lisa’s appointment is an important step in realising our ambitions to build a global credit platform and client coverage model. Our expanded business will ultimately strengthen our investment offering and provide Asian investors with access to the European and US private debt space. We are pleased to have her join the team,” Jeremy Ghose, managing partner

Lisa's appointment is an important step in realising our ambitions to build a global credit platform and client coverage model. Our expanded business will ultimately strengthen our investment offering and provide Asian investors access to the European and US private debt space.

Jeremy Ghose, managing partner and chief of 3i's debt management team

and chief executive of 3i debt management, said in the statement. 

3i has overhauled its business globally over the past year. Most recently, in June, two of the firm’s buyout heads quit – London-based managing director David Whileman and head of the firm’s Northern European operations Tomas Ekman, Private Equity International reported earlier. 

The resignations come as 3i continues its restructuring efforts, initiated after the appointment of Simon Borrows as the new chief executive last year. Since then, the firm has reduced headcount by 168 people, closed six offices, including Hong Kong and Shanghai, and worked on cutting debt.

The firm has also previously said it would make no new investments in India, including from its infrastructure funds. Soon after, in February 2013, managing partner for India and head of Asia at UK-listed private equity firm 3i, Anil Ahuja, left the firm along with India-based partner Girish Baliga.

However, despite cutbacks in Asia, 3i joins a number of private equity investors entering the region’s debt market.

For example, Olympus Capital launched a structured credit business to serve companies that don’t have access to capital; Kohlberg Kravis Roberts is creating debt fund for India that will be funded by its balance sheet, managing director Joseph Bae revealed earlier, and Adamas Asset Management is raising a $200 million debt and structured loan fund targeting China’s SMEs.