Exclusive: TPG shakes up Asia leadership in middle of fundraising drive

Wed Nov 13, 2013 3:17am EST
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By Stephen Aldred

HONG KONG (Reuters) - One of the world's biggest private equity firms, TPG Capital, is reshuffling its senior ranks in Asia as it battles to finish raising money for its latest regional fund and bridge the gap with rivals.

Senior partner Tim Dattels said he was returning to Asia from the United States to be co-head of the region, alongside Ben Gray, a former Credit Suisse CSGN.VX banker who has risen steadily up TPG's leadership chain since joining the firm in Australia in 2004.

TPG's current Asia head, former British Olympic rower Stephen Peel, is stepping away from day-to-day management of the firm, according to people familiar with the matter.

"In the last few years I've been building up our Singapore office and the Indonesian practice. Now I'm extending that into North Asia," Dattels told Reuters.

The management shuffle comes as TPG's latest pan-Asia fundraising, its sixth for the region, has lowered its original target of up to $5 billion while rival KKR & Co (KKR.N: Quote) closed a record $6 billion for its own Asia fund in July.

For the private equity industry, which has grown from a scattering of leveraged buyout shops 30 years ago to a core group of asset managers overseeing hundreds of billions of dollars, senior leadership changes are a significant event.

Firms depend on the relationships that partners build with executive teams and bankers involved in deal-making. Pension funds and endowments also place a premium on consistent management teams in the private equity firms they engage.

Management changes in the middle of a fund raising effort is rare, though Dattels' familiar face and experience in Asia is expected to help reinvigorate TPG's effort to close an up to $3 billion fund, people familiar with the matter said.   Continued...