Pantheon expands Asian team

Pantheon Ventures, one of the earliest fund of funds managers to invest in Asia, has bulked up its Hong Kong-based team, anticipating increased deal flow. Citi executive Alex Wilmerding and ex-McKinsey researcher Minjun Chung are among three new hires.

Pantheon Ventures, a global fund of funds manager, has hired three members to its Asian investment team based in Hong Kong.

Alex Wilmerding has joined as a principal from Citi Private Bank in Boston, where he was a director. Prior to that, he was partner for nine years at Boston Capital Ventures, a US venture capital firm. He has also held roles at Canadian shipping transport company Fednav in Shanghai, and the Cathay Pacific airline group in Hong Kong and Jakarta.

Minjun Chung, formerly a research analyst at consulting firm McKinsey, has joined Pantheon as an associate. Chung has also worked at Samsung Corporation, Korea’s largest conglomerate, for two years.

Leah Liu is also joining the team as an analyst. She was earlier at Lazard Feres in New York, where she was an investment banking analyst.

The firm’s decision to strengthen its Asian team “reinforces our strong historic foothold in Asia”, said

Alex Wilmerding

Andrew Lebus, a managing partner at Pantheon’s London office. “We anticipate a strong flow of investment opportunities coming from the region,” he added.

Pantheon is regarded to be the first fund of funds manager to set up an office in Asia. It opened its Hong Kong office in 1992 and launched its first Asian fund of funds in 1994.

An increasing number of institutional investors have sought to increase their exposure to Asian private equity in recent years owing to the prospects of better returns and the evolution of the manager universe in the region.

Since 1994, the range of investment opportunities has increased, and Asia is no longer a fringe in investors’ portfolios, said Chris Meads, a partner at Pantheon’s Hong Kong office. “Our Asian investment strategy has evolved to reflect the developments in Asian markets,” he said.

Pantheon is currently committing out of its fifth Asia-dedicated fund of funds, Meads told sister publication PEI Asia last month. It makes between 25 and 30 primary fund commitments in each Asian fund of funds, he said.

Pantheon manages assets of $24 billion (€17 billion) globally and has offices in London, San Francisco, New York and Hong Kong.