C.P. Eaton Partners opens Shanghai office

Independent placement agent C.P. Eaton Partners has announced its expansion into Asia with the opening of a Shanghai office and plans develop its business across all sectors of the continent's alternative investment landscape.

The firm, which is headquartered in Rowayton, Connecticut and also has offices in La Jolla, California and London, has been involved in private equity fundraising in Asia for more than 12 years.

'The Asia-Pacific region is a major strategic growth opportunity for the firm,' says the firm's founder and managing member Charles P. Eaton. 'The Shanghai office will operate as a base for Asia-Pacific business development. We will take advantage of being in the same geographic region as our existing and new Asian general partners and limited partners to better serve their interests and meet the growing demand for placement services there.

'We will continuously search for leading GPs in the private equity, hedge fund and real estate sectors. In addition, we want to develop enduring relationships with the emerging regional LP base, including sovereign funds.'

The Shanghai office will be headed by partner Edward Greene, who has relocated from Rowayton and has spearheaded the firm's expansion to Asia, focusing his efforts on the Asian market recently with the successful launch of four independent Asia-specific funds.

Greene brings 40 years of broad institutional experience, including marketing experience in institutional sales roles at Mitchell Hutchins and NatWest Securities and senior management positions at Crédit Lyonnais Securities USA, IMI Mabon and Charles Schwab Capital Markets.

Associate Jingjing Bai, who will focus on business development and relationship building in the Shanghai office, recently joined C.P. Eaton with a background in venture capital and private equity direct investments in China. A Chinese national trilingual in Chinese, English and Japanese, she previously worked at MediBIC Alliance, the investment arm of MediBIC Group.

'Opening an Asia office is a significant step for C.P. Eaton,' Greene says. 'We recognise the shift in global economic forces and believe Asia to be a key driver of global economic growth.

'Through our experience of raising several prior Asian funds, we witnessed first-hand the growing demand for alternative investment in Asia and realise the importance of a local presence to provide Western LPs with direct exposure to the region. Additionally, by building close relationships with Asian LPs, we are able to further diversify the investor base of our Western GPs.'

In May, C.P. Eaton held the final close of Asia Alternatives Capital Partners, an Asia-focused fund of funds, with USD515m in committed capital 47 per cent above the targeted close of USD350m. The fund invests in Asia-based growth and buyout funds.

In October 2006, the firm closed Capital Today China Growth Fund, a private equity fund with total capital commitments of USD280m, a milestone event since Capital Today is considered to be one of the first independently founded private equity firms solely focused on investing in China.

C.P. Eaton has also worked with Partners Group, the Swiss-based alternative asset manager, which held the final closing for its Asia private equity fund, Partners Group Asia-Pacific 2005, in April last year.

C.P. Eaton is currently raising two Asia-based funds and a further eight domestic funds with strategies including opportunistic real estate, core capital assets, distressed corporate debt, clean energy, distressed and high-yield structured commercial mortgage-backed securities, and two hedge funds including structured equity and a fund of hedge funds. The firm has raised more than USD28bn in institutional capital for investment managers across the full range of alternative strategies since it was founded in 1983.

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