By Daniel Lanyon on 9th November 2016
Despite the Brexit uncertainty the specialist fund management group has raise a sizable cash pot to lend to SMEs in Europe.
Pemberton, an independent asset management group backed by Legal & General has closed inaugural European Mid-Market Debt fund having raising €1.2bn in total Institutional commitments.
The firm joins a quickly growing roster of asset managers moving into the private debt markets, taking up business once the mainstay of banking giants, who have moved away from lending to SMEs in recent years due to regulatory burdens.
So far the Pemberton has attracted investors from Europe, the US and Asia including insurance companies, pension funds, family offices and foundations. In addition Legal & General Capital and the Illinois Teachers Retirement System are among the 27 institutions to commit assets to the fund.
The portfolio will contain senior debt financing to mid-market borrowers in Europe, focusing on companies with a turnover between €75m and €1bn . Just under half – 46 per cent of the fund’s assets have already been deployed, with €540m invested across 13 companies including the UK, France, Germany, Italy and Spain.
Keith Jones, chairman of Pemberton, says the quick progress of the fund demonstrates “the demand from real money investors for compelling direct lending opportunities”.
“As the private debt market matures, we are very well-placed to play a significant role in this increasingly important asset class,” he added.
Symon Drake-Brockman, Managing Partner of Pemberton, says the market opportunity was prompted – last year when the strategy was launched - by the demand from “high-quality” European firms struggling to access finance to fuel their growth.