SCM pair spins out to launch natural resources fund

Marcel Kaufmann and Christoph Künzle, two executives at Swiss asset manager Strategic Capital Management (SCM), have spun out to form Advanta Capital.

Following the departures of a number of teams from Swiss manager Capital Dynamics earlier this year, rival Strategic Capital Management has also spun out a team with two of its executives founding their own fund of funds group.

The SCM pair’s new venture, Advanta Capital, will be a natural resources-focused fund. Co-founder Christoph Künzle stressed the group’s maiden vehicle would not be “just another fund of funds” however.

Christoph Künzle

“It will be a diversified fund, ideally suited to small to medium-sized pension funds and family office investors that wish to gain exposure to the natural resources sector. We will make some fund investments but will also look to co-invest in deals,” Künzle told Private Equity International.

No target has been set for the fund, which is still in the planning stages. Advanta will look to hire a placement agent in due course to help it raise the necessary capital, Künzle said.

Künzle and co-founder Marcel Kaufmann have worked at Swiss Re, Bain & Company and Syngenta as well as SCM.

Künzle  added: “From my prior roles I know first-hand what a challenging fundraising environment we are still in.

However, if you approach investors with a convincing risk-return proposal, they will definitely take a close look. We see highly attractive investment opportunities for a Natural Resources investor, particularly in light of rapidly growing middle classes in emerging markets.”

The pair has identified about 200 GPs which actively target the natural resources sector, Künzle said, with about 30 of those currently raising capital.