Partners Group goes on hiring spree to meet LP demand

The investment firm could reach up to 150 hires by the end of the year to match its anticipated AUM growth for the year.

Partners Group has boosted its staff numbers by around 5 percent during the first half of 2018 to meet growing client demand.

The Zug-headquartered investment firm could reach up to 150 hires by the end of the year to match its anticipated AUM growth for the year, according to an investor presentation on Thursday. It has just under 1,100 employees.

Staff numbers rose across all asset classes at mostly junior levels, with a particular focus on value creation, due diligence and dealflow.

It’s been steadily expanding its infrastructure team, hiring, earlier this month, Ed Diffendal, former chief executive of transportation-focused United Bridge Partners, as a managing director; and Phill May, a former senior vice-president of the gas pipeline and storage business of US energy company ONEOK Corporation, as a senior advisor. Both men work out of Partners Group’s Denver office.

In March, the firm hired Vittorio Lacagnina, previously at QIC, as head of business development, private infrastructure Americas. Based in New York, Lacagnina is responsible for capital origination and strategic fundraising initiatives for the asset class across the region.

Partners Group received €6.2 billion in new commitments during the first half of the year, of which €558 million were in infrastructure, the investor presentation noted. Its total infrastructure assets rose 3 percent to €8.6 billion as of 30 June, with AUM across all asset classes reaching €67.1 billion.

The firm expects investor demand of between €11 billion to €14 billion for the full year.

“The most important drivers for our AUM remain the structural growth in institutional AUM globally and the rising allocation to private markets of these institutional investors,” Philip Sauer, co-head of group finance and corporate development, told investors.

“We clearly benefited from this development and continue to build our investment platform as a pure play private markets firm. However, this platform build-out comes with limited scalability as you can see; we simply need more resources to source, transact and create value on our long-term assets.”

The increased emphasis on value creation comes as European Central Bank asset purchases come to an end and amid inflation pressures, according to the investor presentation.

Partners Group deployed $7.7 billion in private markets on behalf of its clients in the first half, including $2.8 billion in direct equity, $1.8 billion in debt and $1.9 billion in secondaries investments.

The Swiss firm is reportedly planning to launch a global infrastructure fund this summer targeting €1 billion.