Credit Suisse confirms stake purchase in Double Haven Capital

The Swiss banking group’s foray into Asia-Pacific reflects how strategic partnerships have become more common among private credit boutiques across the region.

It has been more than six months since Credit Suisse invested its own cash into Double Haven Capital, a Hong Kong-headquartered private credit manager, via its asset management division as the banking group looked to grow its alternative credit footprint in the Asia-Pacific region.

Both Credit Suisse Asset Management and Double Haven have confirmed to Private Debt Investor that they completed a strategic partnership at the GP level in August 2019. Further details on the terms of the deal could not be disclosed.

The acquisition gives the firm visibility into Double Haven’s private credit investments including special situations. This is the subset of the private credit markets where the CSAM team is expecting to see increased activity as the region faces record refinancing requirements amid slowing economic growth and geopolitical uncertainties.

Ashish Kapur, head of strategy for asset management for Credit Suisse Asset Management’s Asia-Pacific team told PDI: “CSAM believes that there is a growing opportunity for alternative credit in Asia-Pacific, particularly in special situations and private credit, driven by structural inefficiencies and regulatory requirements in the banking sector.”

By investing an undisclosed amount directly into the private credit manager, CSAM is looking to support the development of Double Haven’s investment strategies, including opportunistic long/short credit and direct lending, Kapur added.

Full year 2019 results released by Credit Suisse last week showed that its assets under management at group level grew to SFr1.5 trillion ($1.53 trillion; €1.4 trillion) and by 6 percent per annum compared to its AUM of SFr1.2 trillion four years ago.

Double Haven has not replied to further requests for comment.

According to two US Securities and Exchange Commission filings, Double Haven managed institutional capital via two fund series, Double Haven Asia Credit OC Fund as of April 2013, and Double Haven Asia Absolute Bond Fund as of September 2016.

It is understood that the credit manager looks to make investments in less liquid special situations across Asia-Pacific. It also deploys capital into direct lending deals.

The partnership with CSAM is a new strategy for the Hong Kong-based independent boutique to broaden its product offerings and market them to a larger investor base.

Similarly, two other deals in Hong Kong indicate strategic partnerships becoming more common between independent boutique firms and larger asset management groups.

As PDI reported in January, SSG Capital Management agreed to sell a controlling stake to Ares Management, a Los Angeles-headquartered alternative asset manager. The transaction is still to be finalised in 2020, subject to customary conditions such as regulatory approvals.

SSG managed about $6.2 billion of private credit and special situations AUM as of 30 September 2019, according to a statement from Kirkland & Ellis, the legal advisor to Ares on the SSG transaction. Ares managed $144 billion of AUM as of 30 September 2019.

During 2018, Clearwater Capital Partners and affiliates of Clearwater’s founders, Robert Petty and Amit Gupta, completed an equity sale to Fiera Capital for a total consideration of up to $65 million, according to a statement from Fiera’s legal advisor, Sullivan & Cromwell.

Clearwater managed about $1.4 billion of AUM at the time of the acquisition in 2018, the law firm’s statement showed. Fiera managed C$128 billion ($96.7 billion; €89.6 billion) of AUM as of end-2017 prior to the acquisition in 2018.