Evercore picks up Australian placement team

The fund manager’s addition to its Asia-Pacific team will help develop new relationships in Australia, an increasingly important source of capital, says Evercore's Richard Anthony.

Evercore Partners has signed an exclusive affiliation agreement with Australian placement agent Phoenix Capital Advisory, expanding its Asia-Pacific team just months after hiring William Lee to lead the firm’s new Hong Kong office.

Phoenix, which is headquartered in Sydney, was founded by Matt Wormald and Mark Jackson in 2009. The duo had previously been members of Lehman Brothers’ Australian placement team. Wormald and Jackson will be tasked with developing relationships with general partners and LPs in Australia and New Zealand.

The firm's expansion in the region comes following Asia-Pacific's emergence as a significant source of capital, Evercore Private Funds Group chief executive officer Richard Anthony said. With many US LPs cutting existing relationships with fund managers, it is essential for firm's to develop relationships in new capital markets.

Australia’s private equity market has been surprisingly healthy this year, despite reports of a strong Australian dollar contributing to inflated valuations. As of August, there had been 18 buyouts in the country worth a combined $4.4 billion, according to data provider Dealogic. That compares to 28 buyouts in the whole of last year worth $5.6 billion.

Earlier this year, Evercore hired Lee to oversee the development of its Hong Kong office and direct the Private Funds Group's presence in the region. He previously founded hedge fund placement agency Asia Explorer Capital Limited and was a senior vice president at Fairfield Greenwich Group.

The global fund manager also added to its project management team, hiring Jennifer Band from the UBS Private Funds Group. Band will lead the group’s European-based project management and origination activities.

Evercore was founded in 1996 and has $16 billion in assets under management, according to its website.