이 기사는 2020년 01월 15일 08:00 더벨 유료페이지에 표출된 기사입니다.
South Korea’s private equity (PE) firm Stonebridge Capital is growing in size to become a comprehensive alternative investment firm. The PE firm has built the foundation to be the major player in the alternative investment industry by setting up professional organizations based on asset classes.
Stonebridge Capital will establish Stonebridge Alternative, a real estate and infrastructure-focused investment firm, according to investment banking (IB) industry sources on January 10. In 2017, the PE firm established a venture fund management firm, Stonebridge Ventures, by splitting off from Stonebridge Capital, and now it separates its real estate and infrastructure investment division. This makes Stonebridge have four corporate bodies, including its joint venture in Hong Kong. The PE firm has hired private equity fund, venture capital, real estate and infrastructure and overseas investment professionals to set up the system.
Dean H. Kim, founder of Stonebridge Capital, has been mulling over the establishment of Stonebridge Alternative for a long time. Kim, who was the co-founder of IMM Investment, founded Stonebridge Capital in 2008. Since then, Kim has put his efforts to diversify the firm’s business portfolio. To start with, Kim established Stonebridge Ventures in 2017 and has enhanced the overseas investment unit. He scouted Hong Won-jun, who served as the head of UBS’s IB division, as the head of Stonebridge Capital’s Hong Kong office.
Kevin S. Hyun, CEO of Stonebridge Capital, was an executive director at EIG Global Energy Partners before joining Stonebridge Capital in 2013. He played a significant role in acquiring overseas assets.
The PE firm also applied for preliminary approval to operate a real estate trust company to South Korea’s Financial Services Commission (FSC) in 2018, although it ended up failure. Kim has been agonizing over the diversification of the business to become the key player in the alternative investment industry. At the same time, the firm reportedly has a consensus to create a separate corporate body for real estate and infrastructure investment which has its independence and professionalism.
Stonebridge is planning another change this year, which marks the firm’s 13th anniversary. The PE firm has kicked off its corporate governance overhaul to distribute stake to its partners. It is said the PE firm is exploring the idea of establishing a holding company and making Stonebridge Capital, Stonebridge Ventures, Stonebridge Alternative and Hong Kong office as subsidiaries. Kim is likely to own stake in the holding company and partners including Hyun are expected to own some shares in Stonebridge Capital.
Stonebridge Capital has been strengthening its presence in the PE industry in recent years. The PE firm was selected as an external manager of South Korea’s National Pension Service’s (NPS) first secondary blind-pool fund. Stonebridge Capital is currently raising money for a fund created by the state-run Korea Development Bank (KDB). More recently, the PE firm was selected as the general partner of NPS for a one trillion won corporate partnership (COPA) fund formed by NPS and SK Group.
(By reporter Kim Hye-ran)