Equis reaches $386m for Asia fund

The Singapore-based, pan-Asian infrastructure fund manager is approaching the $400m mark for its debut fund which has a target of $500m and a hard cap of $750m. It is thought that the fund will reach its target within the next few months.

Equis Funds Group (Equis), a Singapore-based pan-Asian independent fund manager focused on energy and infrastructure, has received committed capital of $386 million for its debut fund on its way to a $500 million target.

Market sources say they expect that target to be reached within the next few months and that, by the end of the year, the fund may go on to reach its hard cap.

Equis was launched towards the beginning of last year by five founding partners headed by chief executive David Russell, the former head of Asian private equity and Greater China at Macquarie Group.

The other four founders were: Lance Comes, who was head of infrastructure and principal investments Korea at Macquarie Capital Group; Adam Ballin, former head of acquisitons at Macquarie Korea Infrastructure Fund; Josh Carmody, who was head of the Asian Development Bank’s Asia Pacific Carbon Fund; and Rajpal Singh Chaudhary, a former partner at Assetz Group, an Indian PPP development firm.

A sixth partner is George Cowan, who has 30 years of operational experience in the Asian energy and power sectors with the likes of Petrocom Energy Limited, Marubeni Power Asset Management and West Sea Water and Power Company. In all, Equis lists 14 team members on its website across its offices in Singapore, Hong Kong, Beijing and Bangalore.

In conversation with Infrastructure Investor at the time of the firm’s launch, Russell said the establishment of independent fund managers was a response to demand from investors for “pure alignment” in the wake of the global financial crisis.

“You have captives and global firms wanting to enter Asia but for an independent manager with Asian energy and infrastructure experience, it’s a unique opportunity. With Equis we are also seeing the early stages of Asian fund managers incorporating private equity and business operational experience, a trend that has been embraced in Europe and North America,” he said.

Russell added that, because of the prominence of growth opportunities, the firm would have a private equity style of investing that would typically see the firm looking to exit its investments in a four- to five-year timeframe.