German fund of funds manager CAM Private Equity revealed plans to broaden its alternatives investment strategy today, as it launched a closer partnership with German private bank Sal. Oppenheim.
The “strategic partnership” will involve Sal. Oppenheim taking a majority shareholding in CAM, which will become the conduit for all private equity investment within the Oppenheim Group. This will allow the bank to position itself as a leading provider of alternative investment products, while CAM hopes the deal will boost its domestic and international expansion.
Sal. Oppenheim first took a 15 percent stake in CAM in 2003 following a beauty parade, after deciding that it was not appropriate for a private bank to manage its own fund of funds. It has now increased its stake to 51 percent.
CAM executive partner Dr Rolf Wickenkamp told PEO there were three key reasons for taking the extra investment. The two groups had enjoyed a “very constructive and positive” relationship during their three years of working together, he said, while the backing of a wealthy partner like Oppenheim would be a real advantage if the expected consolidation of the European fund of funds market took place in the coming years.
It would also help CAM push into new areas, he added. As part of the deal, CAM will extend its remit to invest in other alternative asset classes – particularly real estate. Wittenkamp said the firm was seeing increased demand for the asset class from its investors. “Clearly it’s an area we have to look at in more detail,” he said.
This is the latest in a string of new ventures from CAM, which has been expanding its activities recently. The firm recently opened a Swiss subsidiary, led by Benedickt Brenninkmeijer, and also launched a fund to invest in emerging markets funds, in conjunction with New York-based Newmarkets Partners. It currently manages assets of about €2.7 billion, which are committed to private equity funds worldwide.
Sal. Oppenheim is Europe’s largest independent private bank – the combined group manages assets of about €140 billion across the continent.