The private equity group of Goldman Sachs has held a final closing for GS Private Equity Partners 2002, its sixth primary fund of funds.
Launched a year ago with a target of $750m, the fund received total commitments of $1.2bn from institutional and private investors, with a substantial amount coming from European investors. The bank itself and numerous employees are also invested in the fund.
Phil Cooper, head of the Goldman's group, said: “The close of the fund with such strong interest demonstrates the strength of our European business. Europe is a rapidly growing region for private equity and we have built a strong team in London to support our investment and marketing efforts.'
The London arm of the 70-strong private equity group is headed up by John Shearburn, who moved from New York to London in January to set up the European arm.
The group is confident it can further expand its European operation going forward. Suzanne Donohoe, co-head of Goldman Sachs Asset Management Europe, said: “We have seen an increasing demand in recent months from European investors for alternative asset products. The expansion of the European private equity team will help support our efforts here.”
Goldman will invest the fund in buyout partnerships worldwide. There are no specific targets for any of the regions. Investment in Europe will be overseen by Marc Boheim, who is also responsible for Goldman’s European co-investment programme.
Goldman Sachs’ funds of funds business was set up in 1996 as part of the asset management business, walled off from the bank’s direct private equity investment operation, Goldman Sachs Capital Partners, or any other investment banking division. Since inception, the group has gathered $11bn in assets across six primary funds of funds, two secondary vehicles, a technology-focused venture capital fund of funds and a distressed debt and equity fund of funds.