Unigestion launches second Emerging Manager Choice Fund
Unigestion will continue to back the next generation of private equity managers with the launch of its second Emerging Manager Choice Fund.
The fund will tap into Unigestion’s 25 year track record of investing in private equity and successfully supporting emerging managers. Some 40 per cent of all commitments made by Unigestion since 1996 have been to first or second time funds.
Unigestion has been successfully running a dedicated global emerging manager programme since 2018. This programme has already shown strong performance through the Covid-19 crisis by supporting managers based in the US, Europe and Asia, and focusing on specialised strategies.
The fund will follow a similar strategy to its predecessor, backing spin-outs from established, hard to access GPs, as well as sector specialists applying differentiated strategies. The fund will also target co-investments, secondaries, late primaries and short duration funds in order to optimise net returns and the cash flow profile for investors.
The portfolio will comprise 100-140 companies over an investment period of three years through 12-15 fund investments complemented by 10-15 direct co-/secondary investments. The portfolio will be balanced geographically between European and North American managers together with opportunistic exposure to other regions.
As with all Unigestion portfolios, the Emerging Manager Choice Fund II will integrate ESG considerations into the investment decision-making process. The investment themes for the fund are aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and most investments will contribute positively to at least one SDG. For example, the Future of Work theme aligns with five SDGs while Resource Efficiency aligns with eight SDGs.
Unigestion’s exclusion criteria is based on the UN Principles for Responsible Investment and full ESG risk assessments are performed on our companies/GPs. In addition, we measure and monitor companies/GPs against stringent ESG standards and actively engage with management teams and GPs to drive positive change.
Christophe de Dardel, Head of Private Equity at Unigestion, says: “Investing in emerging managers has been at the core of what we do for the past 25 years and yet there are very few dedicated ‘emerging manager’ programmes. Over the past three years our Emerging Manager Programme has been able to source well over 200 managers, giving us the opportunity to back highly specialised sector-focused managers, such as consumer/healthcare and tech focused managers.
“There is certainly an increased interest from investors in the segment and for good reason. The best emerging managers typically grow fast so capturing these GPs early enough to develop a privileged relationship and secure allocation is critical. We have established a strong position as an ‘LP of choice’ for many of these managers due to our value-add platform and have developed a strong pipeline of opportunities with a wide range of attractive specialist funds in Europe and the US coming to the market over the next 12 months.”