3i Debt Management, the credit arm of UK-listed alternatives manager 3i Group, has hired Lisa Johnson as director of investor relations in Asia, according to a statement. She will be based in the firm’s Singapore office and focus on developing client relationships in the region.
Johnson joins the firm from Parker Global Strategies, where she worked as senior vice-president developing relationships with investors. She has worked in cities across Asia for seven years, including Singapore, Mumbai and Shanghai.
The new appointment comes as 3i ramps up its debt investing capabilities globally, in particular expanding its business in Asia, according to the firm. Johnson has built “strong and long-lasting relationships with leading investors”, including sovereign wealth funds, family offices, pension funds, endowments and foundations, the firm said.
“Lisa’s appointment is an important step in realising our ambitions to build a global credit platform and client coverage model. Our expanded business will ultimately strengthen our investment offering and provide Asian investors with access to the European and US private debt space,” Jeremy Ghose, managing partner and chief executive of 3i Debt Management, said in the statement.
3i has overhauled its business globally over the past year. Earlier this month, two of the firm’s buyout heads quit – London-based managing director David Whileman and head of the firm’s Northern European operations Tomas Ekman.
The resignations come as 3i continues its restructuring efforts, initiated after the appointment of Simon Borrows as the new chief executive last year. Since then, the firm has reduced headcount by 168 people, closed six offices, including Hong Kong and Shanghai, and worked on cutting balance sheet debt.
Despite the private equity unit cutting costs and focusing on returning capital to investors, the private debt arm has gone from strength to strength, growing assets under management by 93 percent in the 12 months to 31 March 2013 through platform acquisitions and organic growth.
3iDM joins a number of private equity investors entering the lucrative Asian market. For example, Olympus Capital launched a structured credit business to serve companies that don’t have access to capital; Kohlberg Kravis Roberts is creating debt fund for India that will be funded by its balance sheet, managing director Joseph Bae revealed earlier, and Adamas Asset Management is raising a $200 million debt and structured loan fund targeting China’s SMEs.
For more on 3iDM, read the next edition of Private Debt Investor which features an in-depth interview with chief executive Jeremy Ghose.