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HarbourVest taps HSBC exec to meet retail investor demand

The hire comes as private equity firms including Blackstone, Apollo and KKR have been offering smaller investors access to their products.

HarbourVest Partners has appointed a managing director to focus on business development in response to heightened interest from private wealth investors.

Simon Jennings joins the investment firm’s London office from HSBC where he was responsible for creating, structuring and accessing investment opportunities for private and institutional clients in his role as global head of private equity, according to a statement.

Jennings previously held the same position at UBS Wealth Management.

He will focus on working with the firm’s distribution partners in Europe and Asia. He has worked closely with global market intermediaries to meet the private markets investment needs of family office, private bank, wealth management and institutional clients, Peter Wilson, managing director and member of the executive management committee at HarbourVest, said.

The firm did not disclose how much of its assets under management is from private wealth clients.

Boston-headquartered HarbourVest is one of several firms tapping into this. Blackstone has also been working with family offices, wire houses, private banks, brokers-dealers and independent registered advisors to reach individual investors with net worth of $5 million and under, chief executive Steve Schwarzman said in a 19 October earnings call.

The hire comes at a time when several private equity players have been offering smaller investors access to their products. Once the gateway to the retail market is fully established, private equity firms could tap a huge pool of capital, with the US’s National Bureau of Economic Research estimating $42 trillion is held by the top 10 percent of US families, most of whom are not actively invested in the asset class.