Baring Private Equity Asia adds real estate

Baring Private Equity Asia has signalled its ambition to grow real estate investing capabilities with the hire of Mark Fogle as head of real estate investing for its Asia unit.

Baring Private Equity Asia is expected to announce the appointment of former RREEF and AIG senior executive Mark Fogle as its first dedicated real estate professional in the coming days, PERE can reveal.

The firm, which is part of a wider group investing in Russia, Asia, Latin America, and India, has hired Fogle for the Asia part of the business in the latest sign that private equity firms want to add real estate as an asset class to their businesses.

Jean Salata, founder and chief executive officer of Baring Asia, said: “We believe there will be many interesting investment opportunities in the sector as we go through this next cycle and with Mark’s network of relationships and real estate investment skills, our firm will be better positioned to take advantage of these as they arise.”

Last year, Baring Private Equity Asia's sister company Baring Private Equity India hired two staff from Citigroup to seek real estate investments.

We believe there will be many interesting investment opportunities in the sector as we go through this next cycle.

Jean Salata

Fogle said the opportunity to help the Asia division move into real estate surfaced after a year of evaluating roles at existing platforms and the launch of his own funds platform. He was previously chief investment officer at RREEF, the alternative investments arm of Deutsche Bank.

Prior to that, he was a managing director at AIG Global Real Estate, which he helped to grow into the large platform that was sold by the insurance giant to Invesco late last year.

At Baring, Fogle will be charged initially with investing capital on behalf of Baring’s Fund V which targets Asia and recently closed on its hard cap of $2.5 billion. The fund was reportedly oversubscribed and the firm was forced to turn away more than $1 billion of would-be commitments.

“Jean and his team have consistently proven themselves as true fiduciaries of investor capital through

Mark Fogle

multiple cycles in Asia,” Fogle said. “The attractive long term fundamentals of Asian property combined with short-term volatility and lending constraints are creating opportunities for long term investors in this sector and Baring provides me with a large scale regional platform to evaluate and invest in keyreal estate markets as opportunities present themselves.”

Hong Kong-based Baring Private Equity Asia has $2.5 billion of assets under management. The firm specialises in growth equity investments and mid-market buyouts. Typical businesses targeted by the firm have enterprise values of between $100 million and $500 million.

Baring Private Equity Partners, which has approximately $7 billion of funds under management, is the product of a management buyout from ING Group in August 2004.