Adams Street opens Seoul office

Chris Cho, who joined the investment firm in December from Lazard Asset Management, will head the South Korean outpost as a principal.

Chicago-headquartered Adam Street Partners plans to push further into north Asia and tap investor opportunities with its new office in Seoul, its fourth in the Asia-Pacific region.

Chris Cho, a principal at the firm, will head the newly-opened outpost and will focus on developing institutional client and consultant relationships within South Korea as the firm expands its efforts in the country, Adams Street said in a statement.

Ben Hart, partner and business development head in Asia, told Private Equity International late last year that the firm was looking to expand, with Seoul “definitely at the top of the list”.

The fund of funds manager roughly has a 15 percent allocation to Asia. It has backed Asia-focused managers including Affinity Equity Partners, KV Asia Capital and ChrysCapital, according to PEI data.

“It is critical for Adams Street to have a local presence so we can appropriately serve our South Korean investors and take advantage of private market investment opportunities in the region,” Jeff Diehl, managing partner at Adams Street, said in the statement.

Cho joins Adams Street from Lazard Asset Management, where he was vice president in the sales and marketing team, tasked to manage the firm’s relationships with institutional public and private investors, mutual aid associations, and third-party distributors in South Korea. He previously worked for Shinhan BNP Paribas Asset Management and Mirae Asset Global Investments.

Adams Street manages more than $31 billion of assets across primary and secondary private equity fund investments, co-investments, private credit investments, and direct venture/growth investments. In June this year, the firm raised $475 million for a global fund focused on growth equity and direct venture and investments.