News: Buyside

Adveq closes at €300m
Adveq Group, the Swiss-based fund of funds investor has announced the final closing of its latest fund, PETP III, which has raised $302m for investment in US high tech funds. The final figure is some way short of its original target of $350m announced last summer. Adveq managing director Andre Jaeggi attributed the lower closing to a difficult fundraising environment in the light of the events of September 11. The fund has received commitments from European, principally German-speaking, institutions. 90 per cent of the fund's contributions have come from small to mid-sized insurance companies and pension funds, with the remainder coming from a diverse range of investors around the world.

Adveq said the fund will focus on making investments of between $10-12m in around 25 funds across the US. It will focus exclusively on high tech early-stage funds.

The firm has already made a number of commitments from PETP III, although Jaeggi declined to give any details about the investments made to date. ?The current environment is ideal for making investments as valuations are down and there is less competition for the best companies.?

CPP commits to more European firms
The Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPP) has continued its strategy of making major investments in European private equity with the announcement that it has committed €100m to Parisheadquartered private equity firm PAI, which is presently concluding its own buyout from BNP Paribas. The PAI fund had originally been capped at €1.25bn, but continuing interest in it, in addition to the latest commitment from CPP, sees funds raised already exceeding €1.6bn.

CPP, which has C$14bn in assets, has C$2.6bn, or 19 per cent in total commitments, allocated to private equity. The latest commitments take the number of private equity firms that CPP has invested in to 14. In April this year, CPP announced commitments of €100m and €75m respectively to the just-closed Candover fund and secondary specialist Coller Capital. In addition to these firms, CPP has invested in funds from Bridgepoint Capital and Advent International. CPP expects these commitments to be drawn down over the next four to six years. Actual investments stand at around four per cent at present.

Schroders' FoF closes at €242m
Schroders' FoF closes at €242m Schroders Plc has held a final closing of Schroder Private Equity Fund of Funds, which will look to invest in private equity funds primarily in the US and Europe.

The fund has received commitments totalling €242m, although a 30 per cent over-commitment facility will give the firm up to €315m to invest in limited partnerships.

Andrew Sykes, executive director of Schroders, said he felt there was potential for further funds to be raised. ?We continue to see unsatisfied demand for funds of this kind, and we will be launching a further fund in the coming months.?

LGT to manage PE portfolio for Fortis
LGT Capital Partners, the Switzerlandbased alternative asset manager, has won a mandate from Fortis Bank to establish and manage a portfolio of private equity funds. A spokesperson for LGT said the Fortis mandate would see the firm making a diversified range of investments on behalf of the bank across 10-15 funds and Roberto Paganoni, partner at LGT Capital Partners, confirmed that it will mainly be invested in US buyout funds. ?Fortis already has substantial private equity expertise, and has made large allocations to the asset class. Our investment mandate will complement the existing allocations.?

Pantheon has first close on latest FoFs
Private equity funds-of-funds manager Pantheon Ventures has completed a first closing of its latest FoF, Pantheon Europe Fund III, at €130m. The majority of investments by the fund will be going to later-stage and buyout funds though commitments to VC as well as possible contributions to secondary funds are also expected. Pantheon has to date raised nearly €900m for European fund investment. The firm has also announced a first closing of its latest US fund, Pantheon USA Fund V, which has attracted commitments of €127m, much of which has come from new investors. The fund is reported to be targeting a final close of between $200m-$300m.

State Street moves into alternative assets
State Street Corporation, the investment management services provider, has agreed to acquire International Fund Services (IFS), which provides fund accounting and administration as well as trade support and middle office services for alternative investment portfolios. Based in New York, IFS services over 100 asset management firms and private equity fund managers, representing more than 350 funds globally. The company has operations centres in the US and Dublin and employs approximately 500 employees. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. State Street already operates in 22 countries and 100 markets worldwide and has $6.3 trillion in assets under custody and $808bn in assets under management.