AnaCap corrals €575m for financials

The UK-based financial services specialist has almost doubled the size of its first fund as it seeks to capitalise on opportunities thrown up by the last two years’ turbulence in the financial sector.

Financial services-focused AnaCap Financial Partners has closed its second fund on €575 million, almost double the size of its predecessor, which closed in 2006 on €300 million.

The fund will continue the existing investment strategy of AnaCap’s first fund, focusing on control investments in mid-sized financial services companies across Europe.

Limited partners in AnaCap’s latest vehicle include the New Jersey Division of Investments, investment bank Goldman Sachs and fund of funds managers Allianz Private Equity Partners, Morgan Stanley Alternative Investment Partners and Adams Street Partners.

The new fund positions AnaCap “to capitalise on the wide range of opportunities resulting from the turbulence of the last two years,” said Amber Hilkene, a director at the firm.

AnaCap recently completed the first ever private equity-backed acquisition of a UK bank, acquiring Ruffler Bank, an institution that specialises in asset-backed lending and property finance as well as retail savings products. As part of the transaction, AnaCap agreed to inject £80 million (€92 million; $131 million) into the bank.

The Ruffler investment was made from both AnaCap’s funds.

AnaCap used the upheaval in the financial markets last year to bolster its headcount, hiring four former Lehman Brothers’ executives, including Lehman’s ex-head of principal finance, Chris Patrick.

The banking sector globally is drawing increasing attention from private equity firms as many institutions look for outside capital to rebuild balance sheets damaged by the financial crisis.

In the US the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the body that guarantees the safety of US savers’ bank deposits, is currently working to smooth the way for more private equity firms to acquire distressed deposit-taking banks, after a consortium of buyout firms bought troubled Florida-based BankUnited in a $900 million acquisition.