Pinnacle to raise debut A$300m fund

Australia's Pinnacle Investment Management, along with former AMP Capital executives Bill Cook and Peter Ludemann, will begin fundraising for its maiden fund in March.

Pinnacle Private Equity, a new private equity firm set up by former AMP Capital Investors executives and Pinnacle Investment Management, is set to launch an A$300 million ($198 million) private equity fund for Australia.

Bill Cook and Peter Ludemann, formerly members of the AMP Capital Investors private equity team, will be managing partners of the new firm. The firm's investment team will own 70 percent of the business while Pinnacle Investment Management will own the remainder.

The Pinnacle Private Equity Fund will invest in high growth companies with enterprise values of up to A$200 million.

We believe 2009 will be an excellent vintage.

Ian Macoun

The currently challenging economic and business conditions will present opportunities for experienced professionals to invest in the mid-market segments at attractive valuations, said Ian Macoun, managing director of Pinnacle Investment Management. “We believe that 2009 will be an excellent vintage for private equity investment, perhaps one of the best ever,” he added. 

Cook and Ludemann were instrumental in two mid-market private equity funds at AMP Capital Investors, Ludemann said, adding that the sale of 33 percent of AMP Private Equity Fund III’s assets have already returned almost 80 percent of the fund’s capital.

“The sale of a significant part of the PEF III portfolio, together with deal flow and a lack of external capital for captive fund managers, prompted us to consider a different management model,” Cook said. He added that the set up of the new firm would work in the best interests of all parties involved, as the firm could leverage on Pinnacle’s reputation and at the same time the investment team responsible for fund performance would own a majority of the business.

Fundraising for the firm’s maiden vehicle will start in March 2009.

Pinnacle Investment Management was established by the Wilson HTM Investment Group and Ian Macoun as an equity holding and business support company.

The firm seeks to create a “house of boutiques” across a range of asset classes and investment styles. Besides the newly-formed Pinnacle Private equity, its other businesses include Solaris Investment Management, a diversified Australian equities manager; Plato Investment Management, a quantitative Australian equities manager; Resolution Capital, a listed real estate securities manager; Hyperion Asset Management, a growth style Australian equity manager; and Palisade Investment Partners, an unlisted infrastructure manager.

Calls made to Pinnacle Private Equity were not returned by press time.