Akina hits €174m for first close

The Lombard Odier spinout is targeting €720 million for its Euro Choice V fund that will make primary and secondary fund investments in Europe’s mid-market.

European fund of funds manager Akina has held a first close on about €174 million for its fifth fund, Euro Choice V.

The Zurich-based firm, which spun out of private banking group Lombard Odier in 2010, is targeting €600 million for the fund of funds, plus an additional €120 million for a direct co-investment fund. Akina will commit to managers targeting small and medium-sized businesses in Europe, and will also invest in secondaries. The firm will target buyout and growth capital funds, and “selectively” special situations.

“As opposed to our previous funds – Fund III and Fund IV had about 20 to 25 primary commitments – we’re going to do much more targeted portfolios,” Akina senior partner Thomas Frei told Private Equity International. “We’re targeting about 15 primary funds, mostly Euro-denominated, but we have an allocation for the UK and Nordic countries like Denmark, Sweden and Norway.” The fund will also include selective allocations to Central and Eastern Europe, Frei added.

Euro Choice V will target managers who focus on one or a small number of countries, with fund sizes of between €50 million and €1 billion, but primarily managers with funds of €500 million and below. Target managers will be dedicated to supporting European enterprises valued at up to €250 million. Akina expects to invest between 20 percent and 25 percent of the fund in secondaries.

“We are in the process of completing one secondary [investment] and we have three funds which we have committed to on the primary side,” Frei said, adding that the funds Akina is investing in are primarily focused on industrial strategies.

Akina is led by Frei, managing partner Christopher Bödtker, a former UBS banker who founded LODH Private Equity 14 years ago; chairman of the board Yvonne Stillhart, and senior partner Mark Zünd, formerly a consultant at McKinsey. Bödtker, Frei and Stillhart all worked together at UBS, beginning in 1995.

The firm’s Euro Choice flagship funds have garnered commitments of €1.65 billion in total. Akina’s most recent fund of funds, Euro Choice IV, closed on €612 million in the first half of 2009.