Emerging market advisor opens for business

AlpInvest’s Ernest Lambers will be the chief investment officer of EMAlternatives, a trans-Atlantic advisory group specialising in emerging markets private equity.

Ernest Lambers, Nicholas Morriss, John Stephens and Christopher Wright are the founding partners of EMAlternatives, a newly formed emerging markets private equity fund investment specialist.

The group, which has offices in Washington and Amsterdam, will specialise in building customised investment portfolios for large institutional investors seeking exposure to private equity opportunities outside Europe and North America.

Lambers is joining the new firm as chief investment officer. Previously, he was a partner at European heavyweight private equity investor AlpInvest Partners, where he was responsible for fund investment in emerging private equity markets including China, India, other parts of Asia, Central and Eastern Europe, Russia, Latin America and the Middle East. As such, Lambers is one of the most experienced emerging markets LP in the business. 

Morriss and Stephens are founders and former partners of Cape Point Capital, a corporate advisory firm in Washington. Wright, who will give a substantial part of his time to the project and will chair the investment committee, is a former global head of private equity at Dresdner Kleinwort Benson

According to Morriss, EMAlternatives is close to signing documentation with its first client and hopes to be working with 10 to 12 institutions in four to five years time.

The firm will not be raising a fund, nor has it disclosed any figures relating to the capital under management it is seeking. However, asked if he would be surprised to see assets under management hit the $1 billion mark, Morriss replied he would not be.

He said in an interview: “The institutions we are looking to partner with will not necessarily be private equity neophytes. They will be groups that do not have the internal resources needed to make private equity fund investments globally. We will be offering a genuinely tailored service: if a client has Asia and Eastern Europe covered but needs help with Latin America, that’s what we will be working on.”