First Avenue names partner to lead new Hong Kong office

Michael Henningsen with 15 years advisory experience in alternative assets and capital markets will co-lead First Avenue’s expansion in Asia-Pacific.

Global placement agent First Avenue has opened a new office in Hong Kong, strengthening its Asia-Pacific footprint. 

Michael Henningsen has joined the firm as a partner to lead the office with more hires expected to follow, PDI understands. 

Henningsen, who has 15 years of advisory experience in alternative assets and capital markets, will be co-head of Asia along with Martin Donnelly, who runs the firm’s Sydney office.

Henningsen joins from Park Hill Group, an advisory arm of private investment firm Blackstone, which announced that it was spinning off to be a stand alone entity last year. He was managing director at the firm's Hong Kong office, overseeing project management and all Asian origination. Previously Henningsen was a director at UBS in its private funds group in London, where he worked on mandates for a number of leading managers.

Donnelly said: “Since inception, First Avenue has sought to identify and represent the highest quality fund sponsors. Asia-Pacific is a critical component to our future success, and Michael’s joining is a natural step to complement our firm’s already strong distribution network in the region with our on-the-ground coverage in both Hong Kong and Sydney.”

Paul Buckley, London-based managing partner, added: “Michael’s arrival marks the start of First Avenue’s next stage of growth. His reputation and connectivity with Asian GPs signals the importance of Asia to First Avenue long term as we look beyond the current headwinds from China.”

First Avenue, founded in 2006, is a global placement agent and advisory firm dedicated to raising capital for alternative asset managers and corporations across private credit, private equity, real assets and real estate in both developed and emerging markets.

“The universe of managers in the region seeking to raise capital is expanding rapidly while at the same time it is becoming a core area of focus for limited partners globally,” Donnelly said. “Our presence in Hong Kong will help us better serve alternative investment managers by offering the very best advice and project management capabilities, which will significantly benefit both our clients and the investors we maintain relationships with.”

First Avenue has 53 professionals located in London, New York, San Francisco, Sydney and Hong Kong.