New fund from multi-family office to provide over USD120 million to Southeast Asian businesses

Investment firm Blueprint Forest (BPF) has allocated USD120 million to its new Southeast Asian counterpart, 9 Basil to fund enterprises across the region. 

Powered by a number of established families and institutions across SE Asia, 9 Basil represents a strategic private equity platform that is independently managed to allocate capital to leading businesses that would further enhance their position of strength with the value of 9 Basil as partners 

The newly announced fund aims to provide investment for businesses across the financial services, consumer brands, supply chain, and real estate sectors in Southeast Asia. It will also cater for distressed assets and aims to open new markets and create synergies to help companies achieve new levels of growth. 9 Basil currently employs over 12 staff, with its office in Bangkok, Thailand. 

The launch of 9 Basil brings BPF Group’s portfolio of funds to four. It currently manages Lossless Capital, Open Forest and Blueprint Forest. The leading investment group has increased assets under management by over $500 million USD since 2019.

Thai and Singaporean entrepreneurs, Schwin Chiaravanont and Dr Kris Panijpan bring a wealth of expertise, knowledge and strong family connections to the fund, which aims to help companies grow through a disruptive Covid-19 business landscape. Chiaravanont is the Co-founder and Managing Founder of Blueprint Forest and 2W Group, a renowned family office in Thailand. With years of expertise in investment funds, he offers advisory across a board of businesses including Ngern Tid Lor, a 9 Basil portfolio company. Panijpan is an established Chartered Financial Analyst charter holder with extensive experience as both a corporate lawyer and investment banker. 

Blueprint Forest manages capital for over 25 families from over nine countries. Over the course of the next five years, the company hopes 9 Basil will invest in approximately 2-3 quality businesses in Southeast Asia per year. Upon closing 9 Basil’s first private equity fund, they have announced its fund 1 advisory board which selectively includes some of the fund’s limited partners, including: 

Kachorn Chiaravanont, 2W Group
Prin Chirathivat, Central Group
Petch Osathanugrah, Osotspa Plc, Bangkok University
Gabriel Singson Jr, Oakdrive Venture
Christian Jason Chan, Harmony Assets Developments 
Lim Kai Jia Kesley, K-ix Group 
Keiko Tashiro, Daiwa Securities Group Inc
Romani Boondicharern, Former Director of Grand Canal Land 

The family office trends for 2020 are being impacted by Covid-19, and also by technological advancements and changing investment strategies and values. According to the Global Family Office Report 2019 from UBS and Campden Wealth Research, 55 per cent of family offices were expecting a market downturn in 2020 and half had started shifting their investment strategies to reduce risk. These efforts appear to have worked as according to a study from familyofficehub.io, the family offices in the survey performed better than most stock markets. 

To date, 9 Basil has made investments in a number of businesses including leading tech enabled consumer finance and insurance brokerage business Ngern Tid Lor Co Ltd, and distressed debt management platform, Alpha Capital Co Ltd, in partnership with CVC Private Equity and Ares SSG respectively.

Speaking about the launch of 9 Basil and how it will help support businesses across the Southeast Asian region, Schwin Chiaravanont, Co-Founder and Managing Partner, says: “We have designed 9 Basil to become the strategic local partner of choice – at the nexus of several networks, independent from any large business or political group, and highly capable in deal execution. In what has become a volatile market we seek businesses across the Southeast Asian region with strong leadership that are predictable, able to generate high returns on invested capital, and structurally downside protective.”

“Sectors we have leaned towards include financial services, real estate, and consumer brands. Ngern Tid Lor (NTL) is a good example of how we think about investing. While externally this portfolio company looks indistinguishable from many local branch-based lending businesses, behind the scenes NTL’s management team has built deep technology - and data-driven lending and insurance platforms with the goal of promoting financial inclusion and social impact. We seek to take a position on high quality industry leaders like NTL that will not only weather near-term digital disruption, but will also lead the way in shaping the development of their respective ecosystems.”

Co-founder and Managing Partner, Dr Kris Panijpan, adds: "It is an honour and privilege for us to have received the trust of so many experienced and prominent investors, including members of legendary family businesses and multinational financial institutions. We have been told they have invested in us because they believe we can find deals that others cannot. It is true that we try to look in different directions from other funds. We listen for the beat of a different drum. It is our hope and belief that this will translate into outstanding investment returns.
 
"The heart of our fund is our research process. What we feel we must understand, we seek bedrock. We regard this as long-term opportunism. We build deep actionable knowledge- then take action when the timing is right. Our investments do not take place in an academic vacuum. We take the perspective of where we and our portfolio companies fit in with the social and economic networks in which we operate. 
 
"The last few months have given a new shine to our purpose. Everyday we see wonderful people and projects where a little assistance can go a long way- liquidity, connections, ideas. We can help. We want to help. We will help. We want to bring these leaders, our investors, our country, our region- forward, robust and thriving, into whatever the next new normal is going to be.”