AXA launches $200M fund of funds

AXA Private Equity, which manages a series of primary and secondary funds of funds, is in the market with a new $200m vehicle.

( Paris-based private equity firm AXA Private Equity, the private equity division of insurance group AXA, announced today it is starting the fund raising process for a fund of funds with a target of $200m.

The fund will concentrate on the US and Western Europe, according to a press release.

AXA also announced it is discontinuing its joint venture with AIG Capital Partners on future fund of funds. In early 1999, the two firms teamed up to create fund of funds. AXA would provide the expertise needed in the U.S. and Western Europe, while AIG provided emerging markets knowledge. AXA decided to discontinue the program, which created two fund-of-funds, with its strategy shift.

AXA has also created a fund of funds executive committee comprised of Vincent Gombault, Stephan Illenberger and Christophe Florin. AXA also announced that James Pitt has joined the firm as a managing director in its primary funds Europe division, and will lead the London office. He comes from Whitney & Co., where he was a managing director responsible for European investments.

AXA Private Equity’s direct investment funds, including buyout, venture capital and growth expansion, are headed by chairman of the executive board Dominique Senequier. Its funds of funds operation is directed by Vincent Gombault, also a member of the board, who handles all primary and secondary fund-of-funds businesses including direct investment in private equity funds and the acquisition of equity interests from direct fund shareholders. The firm manages or advises funds totaling more than E4bn. The firm maintains offices in London, Frankfurt, and New York.

AXA Private Equity recently closed a secondary fund on $480m, above its $350m target. AXA contributed about one-third of the fund’s capital. Also in December, the firm also announced a third closing on $425m for its Europe Select II and Americas Select II funds-of-funds, which were launched in December last year and are targeted for a final close on $600m.