Exclusive: Ex-Leapfrog exec launches SE Asia fund

David Steel’s new fund Triple P Capital aims to raise $120m for financial services businesses.

David Steel, formerly head of East Asia at Leapfrog Investments, has resurfaced on the investment scene with a new firm called Triple P Capital, a source with direct knowledge of the matter revealed to Private Equity International.  

Steel had left the social impact firm in November last year to pursue other interests, PEI reported at the time.

The new vehicle, which is targeting $120 million, will invest in financial services businesses in Southeast Asian countries, namely Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam, Thailand and Cambodia. Targets include all non-bank finance companies, including consumer loans- and insurance-related businesses.

The fund has an estimated hard-cap of $150 million, although this could be reduced dependent on LP requests, and will invest in opportunities of between $3 million and $15 million.

Triple P is currently focusing on attracting a cornerstone investor, with a preference for a strategic financial services business, although is also welcoming other LPs into the fund. It has had initial interest from various development finance institutions and funds of funds so far.

Steel is joined by his two partners Allan Pedersen, currently also a managing partner at Singapore-based investment firm Polarax Insurance Capital, and Alexander Krefft, who was previously a partner at Osten, Krefft & Block, a private equity and high-yield-focused investment firm in Southeast Asia.

Steel and Krefft are both former AIG executives. All three partners will be based in Singapore. 

The firm expects to add a fourth investment professional if the fund reaches its $120 million target, and also intends to appoint local operating partners in each of its key markets.

While Triple P, like Leapfrog, has a social impact element, the firm also prioritises investing for profit and aims to provide strong operating expertise through each of its team members.

The fund is developing its pipeline “fairly rapidly” and is talking to investors about raising capital for a debut deal currently.