HSBC hires head for private equity push

HSBC has made ex-UBS banker Simon Jennings (pictured) head of private equity, a newly-created role, as it seeks to broaden its alternatives offering.

HSBC has hired private equity veteran Simon Jennings as head of private equity within HSBC Alternative Investments, as the bank seeks to build its private equity offering, it said in a statement.

Jennings joins HSBC from UBS Wealth Management, where he co-founded and ran a similar private equity business from 2004 to 2011. During Jennings’ time at UBS, the business provided private clients with access to 28 private equity offerings with client commitments of approximately $6.5 billion. Jennings has more than 22 years of total private equity investment experience.

Many investment banks have launched feeder funds through which their wealthy clients can access alternative asset classes, including Barclays, Credit Suisse and UBS. The banks have operated these funds even as many of them have shed in-house private equity operations because of regulations that put restrictions on bank-owned or operated private equity.

Recently, Barclays Wealth invited “select” clients to commit capital to Boston-based ArcLight Capital Partners’ fifth fund, sources told Private Equity International. Barclays, which was named on ArcLight fundraising filings with the US Securities and Exchange Commission, has been directing clients into the firm's fund, helping it raise about $600 million as of last month.

Formed in 1994, HSBC Alternative Investments is the HSBC Group’s dedicated alternative investment business which advises clients on a range of private equity, hedge fund and real estate deals.