EMPEA opens Asia HQ in Singapore to serve member-investors

19, Apr. 2021

An independent, non-profit association, Empea brings together more than 300 firms such as institutional investors, fund managers, and industry advisors. Its newly established Singapore office also follows the recent addition of two regionally based board of director members and reflects the organization's growing membership base in Southeast Asia. (Photo courtesy of Empea)
An independent, non-profit association, Empea brings together more than 300 firms such as institutional investors, fund managers, and industry advisors. Its newly established Singapore office also follows the recent addition of two regionally based board of director members and reflects the organization's growing membership base in Southeast Asia. (Photo courtesy of Empea)

Singapore, NNA - EMPEA, the industry association for private capital investment in Europe, Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East, has launched its new Singapore-based Asia headquarters.

Explaining the move in a press statement last week, EMPEA, which stands for Emerging Market Private Equity Association, said Asia has continued to attain prominence as a global financial center and international destination for private capital investment.

Based in the U.S, the association said, "The new EMPEA headquarters allows the organization to effectively represent the leading fund and institutional investors based in Southeast Asia, and to build bridges among investors across global markets with Singapore as a key nexus."

EMPEA CEO and board member Cate Ambrose, believes private capital flows across borders will continue to expand in the coming years as investors seek opportunities that are "scalable, diversified and global".

"Environmental sustainability, technology and innovation will drive investment decisions, and EMPEA's Asia headquarters will be a hub to act on these themes," she added.

Welcoming the establishment of EMPEA's Asia headquarters in Singapore, Lim Cheng Khai, executive director of financial markets development at the Monetary Authority of Singapore, said, "Singapore is at the heart of Asia's vibrant and growing private markets ecosystem. With its new Singapore office, EMPEA will be able to develop more targeted research and solutions for Asian managers and investors."

EMPEA said its Singapore office builds on the network of investors established by senior advisor Steve Okun since 2017. Okun, who is the ASEAN representative for EMPEA, is founder and CEO of Singapore-based APAC Advisors, a public affairs consultancy.

He has been joined by Asia Research Director Ethan Koh, who brings over a decade of industry experience including roles at Partners Group and PEI Media, said the association.

"In his position, Ethan will lead dedicated Southeast Asia research focused on investment data and market trends and collaborate closely with EMPEA's Asia Council, which will convene in Singapore annually," it added.

The development of the Singapore office also follows the recent addition of two regionally based board of director members. It also reflects the organization's growing membership base in Southeast Asia.

Member firms operating in the region include Actis, Castlelake, Everstone Capital, L Catterton, Morgan Stanley AIP, Navis Capital, Quilvest, The Carlyle Group, True North, and Warburg Pincus.

An independent, non-profit organization, EMPEA said it brings together more than 300 fund managers, institutional investors, family offices, sovereign wealth funds, development finance institutions, and industry advisors who manage more than $5 trillion in assets across 130 countries. It supports members globally through research and intelligence, investor meetings, education, and advocacy.

Despite significant differences between regions and countries, private capital managers and investors face important common challenges and opportunities, said EMPEA whose mission is to promote a vibrant and informed industry to achieve sustainable growth in emerging markets.

Founded in 2004, the association has noted how emerging markets private equity asset class has "matured at a rate unimaginable to the association’s first members". Over the last two decades, private equity has spread from the initial markets of interest of China, India and Brazil to countries as varied as Kenya, Egypt, Ukraine, Turkey, Colombia and Myanmar, it said on its website.

This has seen the expansion of strategies to include private credit, mezzanine and venture capital, with the pool of institutional investors continuing to diversify and grow, said EMPEA.