CapAsia lures 3i's Asian buyout head, Prudential pro

The Singapore-headquartered manager formerly known as CIMB Standard has hired David Osborne and Craig Martin as managing directors.

CapAsia, which is focused on infrastructure investments in Central and Southeast Asia, has made two senior level appointments wtih the hire of David Osborne and Craig Martin as managing directors.

In his new role, Osborne will head the firm's Islamic Infrastructure Fund (IIF) while Martin will head the Southeast Asia Strategic Assets Fund (SEASAF) I and its successor fund, for which fundraising is due to begin in the third quarter of 2009, Johan Bastin, chief executive of CapAsia, told sister news site PEI Asia.

Vijay Sethu, who currently heads SEASAF, will step down from his role but will continue as a senior advisor to the fund and work with its portfolio companies once Martin assumes his new role.

David Osborne

Osborne will officially join CapAsia on 1 July from UK-headquartered private equity 3i, where he is a partner and runs the firm’s Asian buyout team from Singapore.

Before moving to Singapore to head 3i’s Asian buyout team, Osborne was based in 3i’s London office where he was focused on opportunities across Europe. Prior to that, he worked in 3i’s regional investment business in the UK. In all, he has worked at 3i for 25 years.

Martin, who joins CapAsia on 1 August, was previously an investment director for Prudential and the

 Craig Martin

head of private equity for the firm's Vietnam fund operations. Prior to Prudential, Martin worked for five years as an associate director with the private equity business of Standard Chartered bank.

IIF was initiated by the Asian Development Bank and the Islamic Development Bank and has the two institutions as sponsor investors. CapAsia won the mandate to manage that fund in July 2009. The fund is targeting commitments of $500 million and has raised $262 million thus far. It is expected to see a final close in January 2011, Bastin said.

Southeast Asia Strategic Assets Fund (SEASAF), the firm’s maiden fund, closed on $147 million 2006. CapAsia will start fundraising for Southeast Asia Strategic Assets Fund II, which will target commitments of $300 million, in the third quarter of 2010, Bastin said. The firm is currently in the pre-marketing phase.

CapAsia currently has about 20 investment professionals across offices in Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Jakarta and Bangkok. Bastin said the firm will be setting up a fifth office – likely in Central Asia – in 2010.

The firm, which invests in non-BRIC emerging Asia, currently manages about $460 million and expects to see its assets under management double within the next two years.

CapAsia is a joint venture between Malaysian financial services group CIMB and Johannesburg-headquartered Standard Bank. The firm was known as CIMB Standard until last week, when it rebranded as CapAsia.

* See the next issue of PEI Asia magazine for an interview with Johan Bastin in which he explains the reasons behind the firm's recent rebranding and its choice not to invest in India and China.