Rede taps former Atlantic-Pacific partner in bid to capture Asia’s ‘gold rush’

Charles Wan, whose departure from Atlantic Pacific was reported in January by Secondaries Investor, will hire up to six people to cover Asia on a primary and secondary basis.

Rede Partners has appointed a former Atlantic-Pacific Capital partner to lead its expansion into Asia-Pacific, Secondaries Investor has learned.

Charles Wan joined as head of Asia in its newly formed Hong Kong office earlier this month, according to a statement seen exclusively by affiliate title PEI. Wan previously spent more than eight years at APC, where he was responsible for secondaries advisory before his departure in January, Secondaries Investor reported at the time.

Wan represents Rede’s first boots on the ground in Asia, which the firm previously covered from London, he told PEI.

“We have activated our hiring plan,” Wan said. “We plan to have five to six people on the ground and will be adding staff to cover Korea, China, Japan and Australia. As the Asia markets mature, US and European GPs are looking towards this geography – there’s a little bit of an Asia gold rush where LPs are allocating increasingly to [those markets].”

Besides capturing Asian LP outflows, Rede will assist regional GPs with fundraising and advise on secondaries transactions such as continuation vehicles and legacy portfolio liquidity solutions. Prior to Atlantic-Pacific, Wan spent five years as an Asia-focused investment professional at global fund of funds and secondaries firm Pomona Capital.

Rede last year raised over €20 billion of commitments across 13 funds holding final closes and advised on six GP-led transactions worth €2 billion, the statement said. It has raised €67 billion since its formation in 2011 and grown to more than 100 staff across three offices.

The firm’s expansion into Asia comes at a pivotal moment for the region’s placement agent landscape, which has seen a shake up of top talent during the pandemic. Notable new ventures include Thrive Alternatives, a GP advisory co-founded last year by Eaton’s former Hong Kong head Jackson Chan, and Ascentium Group, a Hong Kong placement firm launched in 2020 by former Credit Suisse boss James Lee and acquired in December by GP stakes giant Blue Owl Capital.

Asia has also seen an exodus of senior placement executives over the period, with some opting to move in-house to GPs amid a more challenging fundraising environment. Eaton, for its part, lost all senior staff in mainland China last year and saw Hong Kong head Thomas Yu reunite with his former colleagues at Thrive in January.

“The placement agent world in Asia has been shaken up and there’s some empty space,” Wan said. “It’s a good entry point for us from a competitive standpoint.”

Fundraising in China, Asia’s largest private equity market, has become more challenging thanks to a combination of geopolitical tensions, travel disruption and a spate of high-profile regulatory actions that began last year. Pan-regional funds are expected to benefit as a result.

“Is the China thematic one we’ll dive into quickly? We’d love to plug and play, but we’ll need to build up our focus there over time,” Wan noted. “There was a time when pan-Asia funds were in vogue, and over the past three to five years country funds became more in vogue. Now, given what’s happened, the trend has come back around again.”