CP Eaton set to place RMB funds

The global placement agent has launched a platform to help managers raise RMB funds and has hired Eric Gu from China’s National Social Security Fund to lead the effort.

CP Eaton Partners has established an RMB fundraising platform that will assist both Chinese and international alternative investment managers with fundraising for RMB-denominated funds. 
The firm has also hired Eric Gu from China’s National Social Security Fund (NSSF) as vice president to lead the RMB platform from its Shanghai office, it said in a statement. Gu reports to Jingjing Bai, who heads CP Eaton’s Shanghai office.
“We are the first among global placement agencies to launch an RMB fundraising platform, just as we were the first placement agent to open a representative office in the PRC in September 2007,” David Love, the head of CP Eaton’s Asian operations, said in a statement.
The firm is confident that interest in RMB-denominated funds will continue to grow owing to the ongoing development of China’s capital markets and the anticipated strengthening of the RMB vis-à-vis the USD. 
“The Chinese investment market is undergoing a rapid transformation and institutionalisation process. This represents an incredible opportunity to bring investors and investments together,” Gu said in a statement. 
In 2009, private equity funds denominated in Chinese yuan raised more capital than US dollar-denominated funds for investment in China for the first time ever and the number of RMB funds and amount of capital raised increased sevenfold from 2006 to 2009, according to Zero2IPO Research Centre, a Chinese venture capital and private equity service provider. 
In all, 30 private equity funds either investing only in China or with exposure to China raised $13 billion last year, of which RMB funds garnered commitments equivalent to $8.73 billion while US dollar funds raised $4.23 billion.
At NSSF, Gu helped design the overseas alternative investment strategy and participated in the selection of private equity, real estate, infrastructure and hedge fund managers. Prior to his role at NSSF, Gu worked with in the business development and innovation department of the Import-Export Bank of China and served as a consultant to the World Bank in Beijing.
CP Eaton placed its first Asia-based private equity fund in 1994. Some of the Asia-focused funds it has placed are Asia Alternatives’ first and second fund of funds which closed on $515 million and $950 million respectively; Capital Today’s maiden fund, which closed on $280 million; Partners Group Asia-Pacific 2005, a $375 million fund of funds; Lend Lease International Distressed Debt Fund, which closed on $350 million; and the AIG Asian Infrastructure Fund, which closed on $1.09 billion in 1994.
Established in 1983, CP Eaton has helped raise more than $33 billion for 57 funds from 850 institutional investors around the world.