Side Letter: Temasek departure, Gulf’s new IR chief, CalPERS questions

Temasek's European fund and co-investment chief has left the giant asset manager. Plus: Asian investment outstrips divestment, Gulf gets a new IR chief, and more.

He said it (opens in a new tab)

“In my neighbourhood, every neighbour feels compelled to have their lawn cut every other day. On the alternative days, powerful, Ghostbuster-like machines blow leaves around as Paul Bunyan look-alikes cut down branches and trees”

As entertaining as ever, Carlyle co-founder David Rubenstein writes for Fox Business about what he has learned during his spell of remote working

Just happened

On his way: Temasek’s European fund chief Source: Getty

Temasek’s European fund selector departs

Temasek managing director Chris Thorne has departed the firm. London-based Thorne was “day-to-day responsible” for the $300 billion investment manager’s European private equity fund and syndicated co-investments, according to his LinkedIn profile. His next move is not known. A spokesman for the asset manager confirmed the departure and thanked Thorne for his contribution to the firm. Though mainly a direct investor, Temasek has around $10 billion invested globally through private equity funds, Private Equity International reported. IK Investment Partners, Fondo FSI and EQT are among the European GPs it has backed, according to PEI data.

Two-speed Asia

Asia-Pacific dealmakers seem to have no issues deploying capital during the pandemic, but getting it back is another matter. PE deal value in the region hit $95 billion for the first three quarters of 2020, more than double the $41 billion invested over the same period last year, according to EY’s PE Pulse Q3. This is compared with a 45 percent decline in the Americas and a modest 2 percent rise in EMEA. Exits, however, are a different story. APAC exit value fell 59 percent YTD, versus just 11 percent and 12 percent for the Americas and EMEA, respectively.

Gulf taps Kaiser as fundraising chief

Gulf Capital has appointed former Eaton Partners MD Kaiser Jasrai to lead its fundraising and IR activities, “expanding and strengthening the firm’s regional and global investors’ network,” the firm said in a statement this morning. The firm has around $2.5 billion in assets under management, according to its website.

Inside tip

Looking to get into the business of investing in GPs? A “high-power start up” firm is hiring in New York, according to a LinkedIn note from recruiter Donna Fox. The hiring firm was launched this year and seeks “minority stakes in middle-market alternative asset managers in private equity, credit, real estate and infrastructure strategies”.


CalPERS commitment questioned

California Public Employees’ Retirement System board member Margaret Brown is questioning whether pension fund staff had the authority to make a recent $1.5 billion commitment to LongRange Capital without board approval, our colleagues at Buyouts are reporting. While the CIO is allowed to commit up to $1.9 billion to a “customised investment account” without board approval, language was added to the pension’s resolution around pillars III and IV of its new investment strategy – set to be two $10 billion PE funds run by outside GPs with CalPERS as the sole LP – stating that any actual investment dollars put toward the strategy would require approval by the investment committee. However, board president Henry Jones sent a later statement to Buyouts confirming the vehicle is a customised investment account and not part of the “pillars III and IV” programme.

Fundraising reports

Blackstone reportedly intends to raise $5 billion for its next Asia fund, writes Bloomberg, while KKR is preparing to return to market for its next European fund, which is likely to be larger than the €5.8 billion vehicle it closed just last year (also from Bloomberg).

Cerberus and ‘cuddly’ Co-op

The Financial Times‘s Patrick Jenkins explores why Cerberus buying the Co-operative Bank in the UK, might just be good for both the private equity firm and the bank’s other stakeholders (paywall).

A question of integrity vs incentive

Ludovic Phalippou, the Oxford University professor and industry gadfly best known for his criticism of PE performance metrics, is again prodding the industry. This time he is questioning (without proffering an answer) whether an investment consultant owned by a duo of private equity firms can be expected to be critical of PE returns and fees. Wafra’s Tom Rotherham-Winqvist offers a response.

Dig deeper

LP meetings. It’s Monday, so here are some LP meetings to watch out for this week.

24 November

25 November

27 November

Today’s letter was prepared by Toby Mitchenall with Isobel Markham, Adam Le, Rod James and Alex Lynn