Investment funds: foreign firms in Singapore

Baker McKenzie Wong & Leow

Baker McKenzie Wong & Leow's integrated team of funds, regulatory, and tax specialists provide full international and Singapore law across three key classes; venture capital, private equity, and real estate. Venture capital specialist Kelvin Poa represents both GPs and LPs in connection to the formation of funds. Derek Kwan is highly recommended for real estate funds. The team has extensive expertise working in the Asian market, particularly in Hong Kong, Thailand, Malaysia, Korea, and India.

Practice head(s):

Kelvin Poa (Principal)

Other key lawyers:

Derek Kwan

Key clients

Adams Street Partners

Affinity Equity Partners

AltIn

ARDIAN

AREA Advisors

Atlas Asset Management

B.Grimm

Dream Project Incubators

Dymon Asia Capital

Eastbridge Partners

ESR

Gateway Partners

Godrej Fund Management

HPEF Capital Partners

Keppel Capital / Alpha Investment Partners

KWAP (Kumpulan Wang Persaraan (Diperbadankan))

Muang Thai Life Assurance (Fuchsia Venture Capital Company)

Navis Capital

PNB (Permodalan Nasional Berhad)

PT Astra International

PTT Public Company Limited

Rising Straits Capital

Siam Cement Group (AddVentures)

Siam Commercial Bank (SCB10X)

Singapore Institute of Technology

Standard Chartered Private Equity

Thai Oil Public Company Limited

Vertex Ventures

Vickers Venture Partners

500 Startups

Clifford Chance

Clifford Chance's highly reputable funds practice is lauded for bringing a 'wealth of market knowledge to the deal' spanning full coverage across the entire fund lifecycle and is particularly highlighted for its bench strength in private equity, real estate, and infrastructure funds. Managing partner Kai-Niklas Schneider is the go-to expert in the formation of, and investment in a variety of multijurisdictional funds, and for sponsors on accessing the US and EU markets, as well as on regional licensing and securities laws. Daryl Liu was promoted to partner in May 2020 and focuses on international fund mandates. Lena Ng and senior associate Luke Chen are also of note.

Other key lawyers:

Daryl Liu; ; Lena Ng; Luke Chen

Testimonials

‘The Clifford Chance Singapore Funds Team brings a wealth of market knowledge to the deal – being able to site what others in the market are doing. They also are creative and solutions-oriented – working well with the counter-party to drive things to closer in an efficient and cooperative manner without compromising our commercial position.’

‘Kai Schneider and Daryl Liu on several transactions are highly responsive and very commercial lawyers – they bring a collaborative approach to getting deals done in a way satisfactory to all parties.’

Key clients

CapitaLand

ICG Strategy Equity

Quadria Capital

CBRE Global Investors

Prologis

Allianz Real Estate

Berkeley Energy

Pierfront Capital Fund Management

Columbia Pacific Management Inc.

CLSA Real Estate

CVC

Old Mutual

Schroders

State Street Global Advisors

Work highlights

  • Advised Prologis on the formation of its new $1.7bn open-ended China core fund, Prologis China Core Logistics Fund, LP.
  • Advising Berkeley Energy on the formation of Africa Renewable Energy Fund II (AREF II), a $500m (target) fund investing in clean and renewable energy projects, assets and project developers in Sub-Saharan Africa.
  • Advised ICG on the formation of a $1+bn secondary and primary private equity fund and related spin-out of Standard Chartered Private Equity (now known as Affirma Capital).

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP

Best known for its private equity funds practice, the Singapore office of Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP represents prominent hedge and private equity funds in relation to their investments in Asia, supported by a wide network of global practitioners across multiple offices. Robert Griffin divides his time between the US and Singapore and primarily advises on the formation and operation of funds and other alternative investments in real estate, distressed debt, and venture capital. Olivia Chung relocated from the New York office and is also recommended for US and offshore private equity and hedge funds, as is senior counsel Divya Thakur for investments in India and emerging markets.

Practice head(s):

Robert M. Griffin; Olivia Chung

Other key lawyers:

Divya Thakur

Key clients

The Ocean Fund, LP

Work highlights

  • Providing strategic guidance on structuring, documentation and compliance aspects relevant to several investments by The Ocean Fund in companies developing waste management and recycling infrastructure solutions in South and Southeast Asia to prevent the flow of plastics to our oceans.

Dechert

Dechert is praised for its 'access to international clients, trends, practices, and know-how' and regularly undertakes fund formation work for a range of leading investment companies and fund managers, often working alongside its US offices. Fund restructuring, private equity, venture capital funds, and fund secondaries, acting for sellers and buyers, are core areas of expertise. Dean Collins is, according to one client, a 'treasure trove of information' and is highlighted for his work in structuring and establishment of private equity investment funds and related transactions. Associates Albert Tse and  Zachary Oswald are also recommended for credit funds and other alternative investment funds.

Practice head(s):

Dean Collins

Other key lawyers:

Zachary Oswald; Albert Tse

Testimonials

‘Dechert’s funds team is in my view the best in the local market bar none. I have worked with all the reputable funds teams and this is the team that has the greatest access to international clients, trends, practices, and know-how. They negotiate effectively and efficiently, and are not shy in telling you when something is not likely to succeed. This allows clients and them to focus on matters which can move the needle.’

‘Dean Collins is the leading fund formation lawyer in Singapore and is not matched, in my opinion, in this space as an individual. Other teams may have more partners, or more associates, but Dean is a treasure trove of information that is immensely valuable to his clients, and has remained available to advise despite his busy schedule.’

Key clients

EFA Group

Primavera Capital

Genesis Alternative Ventures

JI Capital Partners

Openspace Ventures

The Norinchukin Bank

SilkRoad Property Partners

CDIB Capital International Corporation

Provident Advisors Ltd

Work highlights

  • Acted as lead international counsel to Primavera Capital on the formation of Primavera Capital Fund III, a $3.4bn private credit fund focused on growth capital, buyout and special situations investments in China across various verticals such as the internet and technology, financial services and consumer sectors.
  • Counsel for The Norinchukin Bank (Norinchukin) on its sale of limited partnership interests in over 100 funds to various buyers.
  • International counsel to EFA Group on the formation of Asia Secured Credit Fund L.P., a $300m private credit fund focused on lending to companies in the natural resources eco-systems in Southeast Asia, Australia and New Zealand.

Jones Day

Jones Day's Singapore funds practice is headed by Dennis Barsky, who expertly utilises his 25 years of experience to represent Asia-based sponsors, investors, and particularly, real estate fund managers, in the formation of private equity funds, REITs, and hedge funds. Ben Witherall was promoted to partnership in early 2020 and regularly works alongside Barsky on top-end mandates. He regularly acts for start-ups, venture capital funds, and investors on their venture fund-raising, IPOs, and investment transactions across a broad spectrum of industries.

Practice head(s):

Dennis P. Barsky

Other key lawyers:

Ben Witherall

Key clients

Ancora Capital Management Pte Ltd

ARA Asset Management Limited

Asia Capital Real Estate

CBRE Global Investment Partners

Greystar Real Estate Partners, LLC

LaSalle Investment Management

Macquarie Capital

OMERS Administration Corp.

Oxford Properties

PAG Asia Capital

Work highlights

  • Advised Greystar in connection with the establishment of its Asia-Pacific operations and fund platform, and the formation of its first fund vehicle, Greystar China Multifamily Venture I LP, a Singapore-based fund that will acquire and develop multifamily real estate assets in targeted cities in China.
  • Advised ARA Asset Management Limited on the formation of its first Southeast Asia hospitality private fund. The Fund has a mandate to invest in hospitality assets in key cities within Southeast Asia countries, including Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, and Thailand.
  • Advised P&G in connection with its investment in The Ocean Fund, LP, a Singapore-based social and environmental impact fund for the purpose of reducing pollution and combating environmental deterioration by providing risk tolerant financing and related assistance to investments in South East Asia.

CMS

Matthew Nortcliff heads the funds practice at CMS, which is very active in the technology venture capital funds space and counts global institutions as well as first-time sponsors and start-ups as part of its growing client base. As part of the wider funds group, the Singapore team is instructed on fundraisings of top tier funds in Asia, fund formation, and funds regulatory advice.

Practice head(s):

Matthew Nortcliff

Key clients

Aberdeen Standard Investments

AEPCo (Kuwait)

Alter Domus (Singapore)

AP Power (Indonesia)

Arkblu Capital (Indonesia)

Azimuth Global Partners

Fairway Capital

LaSalle Global Partner Solutions

Play Ventures

Ship Street Advisors

SLB Developments

UBS Asset Management AG

Work highlights

  • Advised Fairway Capital on the establishment, the structuring, formation and closing of FC Property Fund Ltd, a Real Estate Fund focused on the Prime Central London residential market in the UK with an investor-base that includes Asian and Middle-Eastern LPs
  • Advised UBS Asset Management on investments in excess of $2.5 billion into Asian, US and global real estate funds as well as advising UBS on strategic co-investments and secondary transactions.
  • Advised Peakside Capital in connection with the marketing of Peakside Income Fund I, S.C.S., SICAV-RAIF Singapore, including the regulation of tokenised fund offerings in Singapore.

Dentons Rodyk

Dentons Rodyk & Davidson LLP represents a variety of asset management companies, international trustee corporations, private equity investors, venture capital funds, and startups on a full range of funds. The firm is also handling new mandates relating to the set-up of funds under the Variable Capital Company (VCC) regime. Department co-heads I-An Lim and S Sivanesan are the key partners.

Practice head(s):

I-An Lim; S Sivanesan

Testimonials

‘Quick turnaround time with professional and knowledgeable advice.’

‘Easily accessible and has a strong commercial knowledge of the industry.’

Key clients

J O Hambro Capital Management Limited

City Developments Limited

Work highlights

  • Acted for the fund manager in the establishment of a Singapore domiciled unit trust fund with an AUM of $50m.
  • Acted for City Developments Limited in the review of a joint venture agreement and fund establishment.

King & Wood Mallesons

Practice head Will McCosker recently relocated from Sydney to Singapore, strengthening the international funds arm of King & Wood Mallesons. McCosker's practice spans all asset classes with a focus on private equity and venture capital, infrastructure funds, and structured transactions. Having spent several years in the Shanghai office, he is also well versed in Chinese and pan-Asian cross-border investment transactions and structures, and the Chinese financial services regulatory regime. John Sullivan returned to Australia.

Practice head(s):

Will McCosker

Testimonials

‘Very responsive, easy to work with, sound technical knowledge, and practical approach.’

‘Strong commercial lens; ability to tap into the broader international network when required.’

‘The team brings excellent experience, knowledge, and skill level translating into high-quality work and advice. A very collaborative approach, both to working with other teams internally as well as other parties/firms. I really value the culture of the team and the firm and am thankful to have them on our team.’

‘Will McCosker – excellent legal skills, strong commercial lens, willingness to provide a view on issues.’

Key clients

Macquarie Group

First Sentier/Colonial First State

New Forests Asset Management

ARA Asset Management

QIC

Work highlights

  • Acting as lead international counsel in the establishment of an ASEAN focused, Belt and Road Initiative-linked infrastructure investment fund managed by the client with a consortium of PRC limited partners.
  • Advising on the establishment and fundraising of client’s second fund  targeting financing opportunities for global metals and mining project development and acquisition.
  • Advising on the complex restructure of the client’s global infrastructure fund to enable US participation and also acted on the subsequent fundraising for the same fund (with approximately AUD 1 billion raised).

Simmons & Simmons

Simmons & Simmons is a popular choice for fund managers on the formation and launch of offshore and onshore fund vehicles, such as mutual fund companies, SPCs, unit trusts, and limited partnerships. Private funds and retail funds are a key area of specialisation. The team is led by Jek-Aun Long, a regulatory, securities, and investment specialist advising alongside associates Benedict TanAik Kai Ng, and Grace Chong, who are experienced in fintech, fund launches, and annual relodgements and licensing requirements.

Practice head(s):

Jek-Aun Long

Other key lawyers:

Benedict Tan; Aik Kai Ng; Grace Chong

Testimonials

‘Experienced and commercial-minded funds practice.’

‘Jek-Aun Long is the engagement and case management partner. He has plenty of experience in funds formation and is hands-on in the delivery.’

Key clients

BlackRock Global Funds

BlackRock Strategic Funds

BNY Mellon Global Funds, plc

Investec Global Strategy Fund

Lion Global Investors Limited

Foord Asset Management (Singapore) Pte. Limited

Work highlights

  • Assisted BlackRock Global Funds with the registration of the Circular Economy Fund (a new thematic sub-fund under the BlackRock Global Funds umbrella) by the Monetary Authority of Singapore for public retail offer in Singapore.
  • Assisted BNY Mellon Global Funds with the annual relodgement of its Singapore offer documents with the Monetary Authority of Singapore.
  • Assisted Investec Global Strategy with the annual relodgement of its Singapore offer documents with the Monetary Authority of Singapore.