AMWatch

Swedish PE manager EQT adds 7 partners after “record year”

Private equity manager EQT has reported rapid business growth for 2017, and kicked off 2018 by adding seven new partners. Nearly half of the new appointments, which bring the Wallenberg-backed firm’s partner numbers to 57, are among infrastructure specialists — but the firm says this is not significant.

Independent thinking and enthusiasm for both business and strategy are qualities Thomas von Koch, managing partner and CEO at EQT, says he appreciates in the seven recent promotions at his Stockhom-headquartered firm.

After raising EUR 4 billion for its its third infrastructure fund last year, business growth at the private equity firm continued strongly in 2017 after a record year in 2016.

The seven directors promoted to partner with effect from 1 January this year, include equity specialists Bert Janssens in Amsterdam; Kasper Knokgaard in New York; Johannes Reichel in Munich and Niklas Ringby in Stockholm.

The other three new partners are all infrastructure specialists: New-York based Ulrich Köllensperger and Jan Vesely, along with Fabian Gröne in Singapore.

Following the promotions, EQT has 57 partners.

“2017 was a great and successful year for EQT but as always, it is important to remain humble and acknowledge all the hard work that lies behind it,” says von Koch.

The new partners have, he says, “showed excellence and passion in both business and strategy, and are notoriously thinking outside the box.”

No reflection of focus

AMWatch asked EQT if the fact that nearly half of the new partners were infrastructure specialists reflected a growing focus on this asset class for EQT.

However, a spokeswoman for the firm said this was not the case.

But the EUR 4.0 billion capital raising for EQT Infrastructure III last year did top the 2017 fund closings announced by EQT in size terms.

Next down in size was the firm’s Mid Market Europe fund which raised EUR 1.6 billion.

Meanwhile the EQT Credit Opportunities III fund raised EUR 1.3 billion in commitments and the EQT Real Estate I fund closed at EUR 420 million, the firm said.

The firm, which counts Investor AB — a company controlled by Sweden’s prominent Wallenberg family — as a minority shareholder, is also reportedly raising capital for the one of the largest PE funds ever to come from a Europe-based manager.

But the firm declined to comment on this, or reports that it has set a hard cap of EUR 10.75bn for the fund, citing legal reasons for the silence.

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