Mercury agrees Daewoo tie-up and plans Dubai launch

The New York-headquartered placement agent is partnering with Korean bank Daewoo Securities to access LPs in the country. In a further sign of its desire to expand geographically, it is also planning to open a Dubai office next month.

Mercury Capital Advisors, the Bank of America Merrill Lynch placement spinout, has signed an exclusive deal with Korean investment bank Daewoo Securities which will allow it to market funds to LPs in Korea.

“We’re helping to introduce to them marquee name GPs from around the world,” explained Alan Pardee, a managing partner at Mercury.

“It’s a very sophisticated LP market in Korea, with established large players and a number of newer entrants in the market,” he added.

Mercury’s team will work with Daewoo’s bank of 23 sales personnel who have established relationships with the country’s LP community. The deal re-establishes the Mercury team’s footprint in Korea – in its former guise as Merrill Lynch’s in-house placement unit, it had exposure to the country.

Mercury is also poised to open an office in Dubai in a bid to expand its global footprint. The new office will be helmed by Elizabeth Di Cioccio. Di Cioccio, currently a vice president in the firm’s London office having joined in February, will move to Dubai to formally open the office in July.

She worked with many of the Mercury team back at Merrill Lynch between 2005 and 2009, before moving to Helix Associates for two and a half years.

Pardee explained the reason for opening in Dubai, saying: “We have strong relationships with Middle Eastern investors. We see enough activity at the moment that being closer to the investors there seems like the right thing to do.”

Mercury has gone through a period of restructuring in recent months, reported exclusively by Private Equity International, with a number of arrivals and departures amongst it team. Having returned capital to some of its original backers, it has also altered its economic structure.