PineBridge plans $500m pan-regional fund

The former AIG investment team intends to raise a fund to invest in the 'natural resources basin' of Russia, Turkey, the Middle East and Africa, PEO has learned.

PineBridge Investments, the $83 billion investment unit which spun out of AIG, is raising a private equity fund to invest in Russia and the former Soviet Union, Turkey, the Middle East and Africa with a target size of around $500 million, according to market sources.

PineBridge declined to comment on any aspect of the fundraising process.

The firm has raised private equity funds for direct investments in each of the regions before, but this is the first time it has taken a pan-regional approach.

PineBridge Gateway Partners will be run from the group’s regional offices in Moscow, Istanbul, Cairo and Johannesburg. The fund will be headed up by four PineBridge managing directors: Scott Foushee, who heads up frontier private equity from a base in New York, Marc Kasher leading Russian investment, Serkan Elden covering Turkey and the Middle East and Andre Steyn covering Africa.

The regions covered are set to benefit from the growing demand for raw materials in particular from China and India, said Scott Foushee in a telephone interview. “Eighty percent of the world’s oil and gas reserves are found in Russia, the former Soviet Union, Middle East and Africa,” he said. “It is the natural resource basin of the world.”

“Resources pricing is, if anything, likely to strengthen,” said Foushee. “Even at the current pricing, these regions will do very well. This becomes even truer as the momentum behind commodities pricing continues.”

The fund will invest in a number of different sectors – including natural resources.

Pinebridge spun out from AIG in 2008. The group has $83 billion in assets under management across all asset classes and around $23 billion in alternative assets. Around $10 billion is in direct investments such as private equity, infrastructure and mezzanine.