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DWS hits fundraising trail with dedicated vehicle – exclusive

The firm, formerly known as Deutsche Asset Management, will target up to $500m and focus on providing liquidity to GPs throughout a fund's life.

DWS Group, which has been rebuilding since the spin-out of its secondaries team a year-and-a-half ago, has returned to market with a dedicated fund.

The firm, formerly known as Deutsche Asset Management, is seeking up to $500 million for the strategy, according to two sources familiar with the matter.

The team has already invested in two deals using balance sheet capital, one in Europe and one in the US, Secondaries Investor understands. The deals involved the extension of capital to general partners that wanted to put more money into fast-growing portfolio companies.

The name of DWS’s fund is unclear.

In November 2017, DWS brought in Mark McDonald, global secondaries head at Credit Suisse, to help rebuild after its existing team spun out to form Glendower Capital in August that year.

In January 2018, Daniel Green moved from Meketa Investment Group to become DWS’s EMEA head of private equity secondaries. Kumber Husain, an executive director at Morgan Stanley Alternative Investment Partners, joined as head of private equity Americas last November.

Speaking to Secondaries Investor in September, McDonald said that DWS will focus on providing liquidity to general partners throughout a fund’s life, not just on buying fund stakes. Examples include taking an equity stake in a management company or providing capital for funds to execute deals before they’ve reached a first close.

“On the advisory side, you’d go into a private equity fund and say ‘let’s look at this holistically’. What are the issues that you have as a partnership, the issues you are having with your underlying fund or LP base, and can we craft a solution that can be a win for LPs, portfolio companies, the fund and the buyer? We are going with that same mentality, only we have capital to pursue things.”

DWS declined to comment on fundraising.