Allianz Global Investors, active investment managers, is launching an Asian private credit capability. The addition of Asian private credit rounds out the geographic reach of AllianzGI's fast-growing global private debt platform.
AllianzGI's new Asian private credit team will be based in Singapore and led by Sumit Bhandari, who joins AllianzGI with 17 years of industry experience, including helping establish a private credit business in Asia. Weizhong Yun also joins AllianzGI, with ten years of Asian market experience. Further hires are expected to join the team over the coming months.
Deborah Zurkow, global head of alternatives at Allianz Global Investors, says: "Since we launched our alternatives pillar four years ago, AllianzGI has established a reputation for bringing differentiated types of cash flows to the market, helping make previously unseen or complex strategies investible for our clients. Adding Asian private credit to our platform provides our investors with an access point to another unique set of cash flows that are inaccessible through public markets.
She adds: "Given the abundant growth in Asian debt, it is critical we have the right expertise to identify the deals that we believe will help meet our investors' portfolio return and diversification objectives, so I'm delighted to have two such highly-experienced local market experts leading the build out of our team. Over time, with Asia as an anchor, we will explore further extending the range of emerging market credit our clients can gain access to via our rapidly expanding global platform."
With growth rates in Asia higher than in developed markets and corporate default and creditor recovery rates comparable to developed markets, Asia's private debt markets exhibit attractive fundamentals. With the retrenchment of banks due to regulatory pressures and inefficient debt capital markets, AllianzGI believes Asia's mid-cap companies are currently particularly underserved, lacking access to credit despite their strong fundamentals and compelling growth stories.
AllianzGI's Asian private debt team are expected to begin investing shortly, with Allianz as an initial investor. The investment is a cornerstone of Allianz' strategic ambition to increase its exposure to emerging markets on the Alternatives side to lock in attractive returns, benefit from high growth rates and further diversify its insurance portfolios.
AllianzGI's Asian private debt team will be targeting a senior secured debt strategy and mezzanine financing strategy. They will target private companies based in Asia and look to build up a diversified portfolio.
Sumit Bhandari, managing director, Asia Private Credit at AllianzGI, says: "The ability to invest across the capital structure provides for complete financing solutions to borrowers and unlocks an abundant deal flow with an attractive risk / return profile. We are excited to be able to help our clients unlock the potential of Asian private debt markets."