Leopard Capital expands team, re-opens fund

The Asian frontier markets-focused firm has made two additions to its team and resumed fundraising for the Leopard Cambodia Fund, which originally closed on $27m in April.

Hong Kong-based private equity and real estate firm Leopard Capital, which currently invests in Cambodia, has made two new appointments to its team.

The firm augmented its Cambodian investment team with the hire of Dat Duong as an associate partner, it said in its monthly newsletter. Prior to joining Leopard Capital, Duong, who has 10 years of financial experience in North America and Asia, was an investment banker at Merrill Lynch in Hong Kong, where he worked closely with Scott Lewis, currently the chief investment officer of Leopard Capital, who was also formerly at Merrill Lynch.

Leopard Capital has also hired Mohamed Aslam as a marketing manager. Aslam has spent 13 years as a private banker for high net worth clients in Switzerland and as a stockbroker in his native Sri Lanka.

The firm has also resumed fundraising for Leopard Cambodia Fund, its maiden investment vehicle, which had seen a final close on $27.2 million in April earlier this year. The fund was targeting commitments of $100 million, but the firm stopped fundraising as it had intended to raise money for only one year. “It was a self-imposed deadline,” Thomas Hugger, a managing partner at the firm, told PEI Asia at the time. At the time he did add, however, that the firm could re-open the fund if other big investors wanted to commit capital.

Leopard Cambodia Fund has raised $28.6 million thus far and will see its next close on 30 September 2009, said the firm's newsletter. It is now aiming for a final close at the end of the year.

The firm has made three investments so far. They include a $5.7 million investment in Cambodia Plantations, a rice production company; a $1 million investment in Greenside Holdings, a power transmission company; and a $1.8 million commitment to Angkor Residences, a property development project in Siem Reap, of which it has invested $1.5 million so far.