PAI boosts execution firepower for Fund VII

The firm appointed 15 investment professionals to bring its team number to 60 last year and is planning a similar number of additions this year, partner Richard Howell tells PEI.

PAI Partners has significantly expanded its investment team to support deployment of its latest private equity fund.

The Paris-headquartered investment firm appointed 15 investment professionals to bring its team number to 60 last year and is planning a similar number of additions this year, partner Richard Howell told Private Equity International. The influx will help PAI deploy the €5 billion it amassed for Fund VII on its hard-cap in late March.

“It’s an intense model, there’s a lot of deals you have to look at to find the right ones, and we continue to invest in our talent base for that reason,” he said. “It was a very active hiring year last year and we still have hiring plans at the moment.”

PAI held a final close on Fund VII after six months in market, according to a statement announcing the close. The firm substantially increased its commitments from US and Asian LPs from Fund VI, a €3.29 billion 2014-vintage, with the regions accounting for approximately 26 percent and 17 percent of Fund VII respectively, he added.The firm reportedly made a 2 percent GP commitment to the vehicle in line with its previous contributions to earlier funds.

The fund aggregated demand of more than €15 billion at launch, the statement noted.

“One of our goals was to increase our number of relationships in the US and Asia where we had less historical representation,” Howell said. “[The rise in Asian LPs] was more about building a solid base of investors in a fast-growing region that we believe will increase its relevance to the private equity landscape.”

Fund VI – which is nearly fully invested – achieved an average entry multiple of approximately 9x across 17 investments. Without healthcare assets, which often trade at double digits, the average multiple was below 8x.