Sir Ronald Cohen to launch alternative asset manager

The founder of Apax Partners is courting investors for a new alternative asset management business, Portland Capital, reportedly in partnership with Lord Rothschild.

Sir Ronald Cohen, the retired founder of Apax Partners, will return to private equity through a partnership with financier Lord Jacob Rothschild, according to a report.
 
Cohen, who stepped down from his position as chief executive of Apax Partners last year, will launch Portland Capital, a fund manager investing in real estate, private equity, hedge funds and commodities. A property hedge fund is likely to be its first product, according to a report in the Financial Times.
 
According to a spokesperson for Portland Capital, the firm has yet to launch and is still in the “very early stages of discussions with potential investors”. The spokesperson confirmed that Portland Capital will invest in private equity funds rather than set up its own vehicle, but said that details were very sketchy and no targets or strategies had been set at this point.

The spokesperson added that George Kountouris, previously European head of CSFB’s Real Estate Capital Partners, and Nigel King, formerly at Salomon Smith Barney, have joined Portland Capital.

Lord Rothschild is understood to also be involved as a backer in Aurigo Management, a recently-launched distressed-focused investment firm, headed by Archie Norman.
 
Sir Ronald, an Egyptian-born Briton, founded Apax Partners in 1971 alongside Alan Patricof and Maurice Tchénio.