ICG crosses £22bn AUM line

ICG’s real estate platform was a big driver in the firm’s collection of €1.4bn between March and September. The firm has hinted it may launch follow-up direct lending and real estate platforms next year.

UK-headquartered credit specialist ICG raised €1.4 billion, according to its 2016 first-half earnings report, a lower figure when compared with similar periods in the recent past as the firm has focused on raising capital for its smaller strategies.

Assets under management reached a record £22 billion ($27.3 billion; €25.5 billion), a total driven by the notable success of its real estate platform ICG-Longbow IV, which hit its £1 billion hard-cap and beat its initial target of £750 million.

The firm reported £133 million in pre-tax profit and paid out an interim dividend of 7.5 pence, up 4.2 percent.

Christophe Evain, ICG chief executive, said that the firm targets £4 billion per annum in capital commitments, but fundraising is contingent on the pace of deployment.

In previous years, for instance, the firm raised £3 billion for both its ICG Europe Fund VI and ICG Senior Debt Partners II funds, which are still being invested. The focus of 2016 has been the real estate platform, as well as the firm’s strategic secondaries fund.

“It is possible that we see some of our bigger funds come back to the market next year, but it is all deployment related. If you deploy your fund faster, then you’re going to come back to market sooner and you’re going to end up having a very strong year. This is what happened to us, we had two incredibly busy years,” he said.

ICG-Longbow is already at an advanced stage of investment, having deployed 60 percent of its capital, which means successor European direct lending vehicles and a fifth real estate platform could have 2017 launches.

ICG closed its Asia-Pacific fund at $691 million, below the previous incarnation’s final close of $800 million. Evain said that the reason behind this was a negative perception about the Chinese economy.

Evain said that the firm focuses on the “more mature economies rather than mainland China, such as Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand, but the perception was that if China was in a bit of trouble then the rest of the region would be impacted”.

“We see good opportunities in the Asia-Pacific region and there is a decent pipeline, but in the meantime the uncertainty around China has affected our fundraising,” he added.