Primus and ex-Citi exec launch Asian financial services firm

The co-founders of Primus Pacific Partners and an ex-Citi exec have launched Primus Financial Holdings, a ‘successor organisation' with $1bn in permanent capital, to Hong Kong-based firm Primus.

Huan Guocang, the chief executive officer of Primus Pacific Partners, and Ng Wing Fai, a managing partner at the firm, have launched Primus Financial Holdings, a financial services holding company.

The management team will be led by Huan, Ng and Robert Morse, Citigroup’s former Asia institutional clients group chief executive officer and head of global investment banking.

Based in Hong Kong, the new firm has initial permanent capital of $1 billion from its anchor investor, an Asia-based private family. It intends to raise more capital and has not set a limit on the amount, said Morse.

Primus Financial will “manage an alternative investments platform with an initial focus on financial assets (including distressed fixed income) in the US and emerging markets private equity,” according to a statement from the firm. Additional strategies will be added later. The firm also plans to offer insurance, banking, brokerage, advisory and wealth management services.

At Primus Financial, Huan and Morse will share the position of chairman while Ng and Morse will be co-chief executive officers. Huan and Ng will spend the “vast majority of their time” at Primus Financial, said Morse in an interview.

In 2005, Huan and Ng founded Primus Pacific Partners with David Olsen, the former chief executive of financial services firm Guggenheim Merchant Banking.

The firm closed its first fund Primus Pacific Partners on $400 million in 2005. The fund invests in Asian financial services companies and is currently fully invested. Its previous investments include Chinese insurance company New China Life Insurance and Malaysian bank EON Capital Berhad.