Coller expands Asian presence with China office, plots RMB strategy

The secondaries pioneer's Beijing office opened in March and is led by Hong Kong-based partner and head of Asia Peter Kim.

Coller Capital, one of the last remaining large independent pure-play secondaries firms, is digging deeper into the Asian secondaries market with an eye on a yuan-denominated strategy.

The London-headquartered secondaries pioneer has opened an office in Beijing and is exploring the appetite for a dedicated strategy using the mainland Chinese currency, according to two sources familiar with the matter.

The Beijing office, which opened in March and has six staff, is run through Coller’s Hong Kong office and is led by partner and head of Asia Peter Kim, Secondaries Investor understands.

At least three Coller professionals are listed on LinkedIn as being based in Beijing, including investment professionals Siying Han and Tianyi Zhang.

In the firm’s latest Annual Report and Financial Statements for the year ending 31 March and filed with the UK regulator this month, Coller chairman and chief investment officer Jeremy Coller highlighted Asia as a particular area of interest.

“As well as expanding its geographic reach – in Asia especially – the secondary market is likely to continue embracing an ever-wide range of assets, including private equity interests in real assets, infrastructure and credit,” he wrote.

The China development comes at a time of heightened interest in Asian secondaries, particularly for single-asset GP-led restructurings. In September, Partners Group, Glendower Capital and Hamilton Lane led a $500 million process centred on South Korea’s second-largest fried chicken brand BHC Group.

In May, Secondaries Investor reported that Goldman Sachs Asset Management was leading a process on logistics giant GLP China, which could be as big as $2 billion in size.

Asia and Australasia accounted for 5 percent of GP-led transaction volume in the first half of this year, according to data from Campbell Lutyens.

Secondaries firms with offices in mainland China include NewQuest Capital Partners and TR Capital – both direct secondaries specialists.

A spokesperson for Coller declined to comment.