Cogent adds to Asia secondaries team

The private equity-focused investment bank has moved Dominik Woessner from London to the firm's Asia office in Shanghai as secondary activity picks up in key markets.

Cogent Partners' director Dominik Woessner has joined the firm’s Shanghai office, according to a firm statement. 

Woessner, who relocated from London, is responsible for coverage and execution of secondary transactions for Asian clients. 

Woessner joined Cogent in 2007. Previously, he worked at Greenpark Capital, where he performed due diligence and analysis on secondary acquisitions. Prior to that, he spent four years at KPMG, where he advised private equity and corporate clients in the UK as well as in continental Europe.

Japanese banks have been sellers of private equity investments for the last three years as have been other financial institutions globally due to regulatory changes such as Basel III

Dominik Woessner, director, Cogent Partners

The firm sees increasing secondaries opportunities in Asia. 

“Secondary sale activity in Asia so far has been mostly driven by LPs in Singapore, Japan and Australia, the most mature private equity markets in the region,” Woessner told Private Equity International

“Japanese banks have been sellers of private equity investments for the last three years as have been other financial institutions globally due to regulatory changes such as Basel III. In Australia, superannuation funds have selectively started to sell some PE funds, by and large to actively manage their PE exposure.”

In China, secondary activity is comparatively little, but he sees some first steps.

A hopeful sign comes from Gopher Asset Management, a subsidiary of Shanghai-based Noah Holdings, which recently raised a 500 million RMB (€61 million;$82 million) fund, according to PEI’s Research & Analytics division. The fund is expected to focus on RMB secondaries.

Cogent has four on its Asia secondaries team. The firm established a local presence in Asia by opening the Shanghai office in 2011. Co-founder and managing director Stephen Sloan led Cogent’s operations from Shanghai before moving back to the US last month. 

Cogent specialises in secondary market transactions and private equity research.The firm has advised on $75 billion from over 4,100 limited partnership interests. The firm's clients are typically secondary fund managers, funds of fund managers, financial institutions, pension funds, endowments and foundations, hedge funds, family offices, and government institutions.

Drew Wilson contributed to this report.