First Avenue opens Seoul office

Richard Kim, a principal at the placement agent, will head the new outpost.

Placement agent First Avenue has opened an office in Seoul as it expects increased Korean LP appetite for alternative investments.

Richard Kim, a principal at the firm, will head the new office, which is located at IFC Three, Yeongdeungpo-gu, Seoul, the firm said in a statement.

For the past five years, Kim was the firm’s key relationship manager and senior sales executive covering South Korea. He had previously established and led the alternatives placement business of Heungkuk Securities, Hanwha Investment & Securities and KB Securities.

In his new role he will work directly with local broker/dealers in distributing and executing investment mandates.

“We expect to reap the benefits from having our own presence on the ground at a time when Korean institutional appetite for international alternative investments is set to grow significantly,” Paul Buckley, managing partner for First Avenue, said in a statement. “GPs by law need to have a local Korean broker/dealer partner, we can provide this as well as a full service to our clients in a US and UK/EU regulatory environment.”

The firm targets a variety of LPs across North America, Europe, the Middle East, Japan, Korea, Australia, Southeast Asia, Greater China, Central Asia and Latin America.

First Avenue’s clients include InfraVia's third European mid-market infrastructure fund, closed on $1 billion in October 2016; Mainstream Renewable Power's African Renewable Energy Platform, closed on $117.5m in July last year; and Hastings' European Infrastructure Debt Fund, closed in April 2015 on an undisclosed amount.

In November last year, the firm launched a mobile app for its general partner clients to review the status of a fundraise and provide a breakdown of fund activity from launch date to final close.

First Avenue also has offices in Hong Kong, Sydney, New York, Dallas and London.