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StepStone launches private debt arm

The global investment firm has acquired a private debt and hedge fund company as part of the launch of its new business.

Alternative asset manager StepStone Group has launched a new private debt business through its acquisition of Swiss Capital Alternative Investments, in a transaction that is expected to close by the end of the year.

StepStone, which advises and invests in secondaries as well as primary and co-investment strategies, acquired the private debt and hedge fund company, which has $5 billion of assets under management, at the same time as launching StepStone Private Debt and a hedge fund arm.

“Private debt has become a crucial strategy as institutions facing overexposure to maturing bonds and low yields seek to diversify and replace current investments with debt instruments that can meet their return criteria,” StepStone chief executive Monte Brem said in a statement.

Swiss Capital’s existing management will continue to lead its private debt and hedge fund teams, the statement said.

StepStone, which has $14 billion of assets under management, invests in buyout, venture, distressed, credit and energy, as well as private debt, real estate, infrastructure and real assets.

The acquisition increases StepStone’s presence in Europe to more than 70 professionals, it said. Swiss Capital, which has a team of 45, operates from offices in Zurich, Singapore and Dublin. StepStone currently has one European office in London.

StepStone has also hired KPMG’s infrastructure and real assets institutional investment advisory team, it said. James O’Leary, who joins from KPMG, will head up its new team of more than twenty people, which Brem described in a statement as an “exceptionally experienced and deep group”. O’Leary will be based in Sydney.