NRF helps launch new PE ‘fund of funds’

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Norton Rose Fulbright has advised Vantage Asset Management on the launch of its third fund, which achieved first close in January and attracted significant support from Significant Investor Visa (SIV) financiers, mostly from China.

The Vantage Private Equity Growth 3, LP (VPEG3) has been well-supported by experienced individual and institutional investors and is still open to new investors. Vantage has developed and managed a “fund of funds” investment strategy focused exclusively on small- to mid-market growth private equity since its establishment in 2004.

VPEG3 attracted $20m at first close and has a target final close of $100m, Vantage managing partner Michael Tobin told Australasian Lawyer.

“The fund invests ultimately into a diversified portfolio of profitable companies managed by top-tier private equity fund managers in Australia,” Tobin said. “The fund provides investors access to institutional private equity fund managers, otherwise inaccessible to many smaller (wholesale) investors.”

Open to SIV investors under the revised Complying Investment Framework, VPEG3 can be a vehicle for the at least $500,000 investment in a complying registered fund required for these high net worth migrants who must make a $5m investment.

The Vantage fund has been granted unconditional registration status by the Innovation Investment Committee of the Australian Government Department of Industry, Innovation and Science.

“Approximately 25% of investor capital in the first close came from SIV investors, predominately from China,” Tobin said. “SIV investors have selected VPEG3 in order to invest in a diversified set of growth private equity funds, compared to earlier stage venture capital alternatives.”

According to Tobin, the balance of investors are Australian high-net-worth individuals, self-managed super funds and family offices that have invested in Vantage’s previous funds, VPEG1 and VPEG2, as well as new investors seeking to gain access to the high-performance, growth private equity asset class in an otherwise low-return environment.

“The fund design takes advantage of government reforms aimed at attracting investor capital into this sector,” said Fadi Khoury, Norton Rose Fulbright lead partner.

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