NPS adds two foreign alternative managers in first quarter Korean pension fund bolsters alternative investments abroad with focus on tech

Translated by Ryu Ho-joung 공개 2021-06-15 08:18:13

이 기사는 2021년 06월 15일 08:14 더벨 유료페이지에 표출된 기사입니다.

South Korea’s National Pension Service (NPS) has added two UK-based investment firms to its group of global alternative managers in the first quarter, as the state pension fund expands alternative investments abroad with a focus on technology and middle market.

Apax and Stafford Capital Partners joined NPS’ private equity and real estate managers, respectively, according to a quarterly report released by the pension fund on May 28, raising the total number of the fund’s roster of global alternative managers to 164.

The new additions are in line with NPS’ efforts to bolster investment in overseas markets, especially in alternative assets such as private equity, real estate, infrastructure and hedge funds. This contrasts with the fund’s roster of domestic general partners, which has been reduced from 113 at the end of December 2019 to 106 at the end of March this year.

Apax is known for its expertise in middle-market technology companies with a focus on digital transformation. The London-based firm was founded as a venture capital business about 50 years ago, before expanding its investment strategies to include buyout and growth equity transactions.

NPS made a commitment to Apax’s latest fund that closed at $11 billion. The move is in line with global trends of growing interest in technology-related investments and follows the pension fund’s addition of two US private equity firms specializing in technology last year.

One of them is Insight Partners. The New York-based firm has over $30 billion in assets under management with a focus on growth-stage software businesses. The other is Thoma Bravo, a Chicago-based private equity firm focused on software and technology investing. Thoma Bravo recently completed its $9.6 billion acquisition of property technology platform RealPage.

NPS last year also added Antares Capital Advisers and Madison Capital Funding, both of which specialize in middle-market investing, and private credit manager Sixth Street Partners to its foreign general partner roster, raising expectations that the pension fund could divert more money to these strategies.

With assets under management of over $27 billion, US-based Antares Capital Advisers was founded in 1996 and is said to have a strong track record in middle-market private investing in North America. Madison Capital Funding, with $11.4 billion in assets under management, is a wholly owned subsidiary of New York Life Insurance and focuses on middle-market businesses.

Sixth Street Partners was added last year after the San Francisco-based firm ended its decade-long partnership with TPG, which was already included in NPS’ manager list, to become independent of each other. Sixth Street manages over $50 billion in assets.

London-based Stafford Capital Partners, known for its expertise in timberland investment, was also added alongside Apax in the first quarter, after NPS earlier this year invested $150 million in the firm's ninth flagship timberland fund.

This marked the pension fund’s first investment in timberland. NPS chief investment officer Ahn Hyo-joon said in a statement in February that the investment aligned with the fund’s investment philosophy of pursuing stable returns in the long term and was also attractive from a sustainable investing perspective. (Reporting by Hee-yeon Han)
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