DWS holds first close on debut fund – exclusive

The group, formerly known as Deutsche Asset Management, closed a deal in August involving Blackstone's Strategic Partners unit and StepStone.

DWS has held the first close on its debut fund and is around halfway towards its target, Secondaries Investor has learned.

The group, formerly known as Deutsche Asset Management, has raised more than $200 million for Private Equity Solutions SCSP, according to two sources familiar with the matter. The fund launched around the beginning of the year seeking as much as $500 million, as Secondaries Investor reported.

State of Wisconsin Investment Board accounts for $200 million of the capital raised so far, according to documents prepared for the US pension’s 11 September board of trustees meeting.

The firm is expected to hold the final close on the vehicle within the next 12 months, one of the sources said.

DWS’s private equity team is led by Mark McDonald, who joined in 2017 from Credit Suisse where he was global head of secondaries advisory.

In August, the firm led a group of institutional limited partners including Blackstone Strategic Partners and StepStone to back growth and buyout-focused Snapdragon Capital Partners’ and consulting firm The Maze Group’s investment in health and nutritional products maker Nutraceutical International.

DWS’s private equity group invests along a hybrid buyout/secondaries strategy which focuses on enabling private equity firms to continue to back their best assets, according to a statement about the Nutraceutical deal. The team manages more than $2 billion in commitments on behalf of mainly institutional investors globally, according to the statement.

A spokesman for DWS declined to comment.