AXA sets up in shop in Beijing

Four partners from the firm's Singapore office will move to Beijing, as AXA Private Equity aims to find synergies with local companies for its European portfolio.

AXA Private Equity will soon open its first China office in Beijing. 

It will be headed by Jenhao Han, managing director and head of AXA Private Equity Asia, according to a statement. 

Three other partners – Won Ha, Jason Yao, and Colin Wang – will also move to Beijing from AXA’s Singapore office. 

Opening the Beijing office is “an important part of AXA Private Equity’s international development strategy”, according to the statement. The firm now has ten offices worldwide, primarily in Europe.

The firm particularly sees opportunities in Chinese companies’ increasing interest in Europe amid a trend of cross-border deals. AXA hopes to leverage its portfolio of European countries to develop partnerships with Chinese companies.

“A physical presence in China will enable the team to identify synergies between European and Asian portfolios and gain access to more co-investment opportunities,” Han added in the statement.

Since AXA opened its first Asian office in 2005 in Singapore, the firm has deployed $1.3 billion of capital across the region, according to the statement. The firm's global funds tend to dedicate around 5 percent of their assets to Asian investments, Han said.

The firm has also raised two Asia-focused funds totaling $336 million, according to PE Asia’s data division. Its second fund, AXA Capital Asia II, is now about 80 percent invested, and AXA is now trying to raise $500 million to $600 million for its third Asia-dedicated fund, AXA Capital Asia III.

The fund launched in June and held a first close last month on $300 million, Han told PE Asia. The strategy of this fund will remain divided between direct investments and Asian GP investments, Han added.

Worldwide, AXA has $30 billion in assets under management, $25.5 billion of which is dedicated to private equity.