Malaysian Asset Manager Launches Private Equity Unit

New business unit has been two years in the making.

Malaysian asset manager Affin Hwang Asset Management Berhad has launched private equity management firm Bintang Capital Partners Berhad, which it has registered with the Securities Commission Malaysia. 

“The launch of Bintang marks the culmination of nearly two years of effort by the team to build the private equity business,” Teng Chee Wai, managing director of Affin Hwang, said in a release.

Affin Hwang, which has more than RM48 billion ($12 billion) in assets under management, first dipped its toes into the private equity market last June with the buyout of Bitsmedia, a Singapore-based technology company specializing in the development of mobile applications, and early-stage venture capital. The buyout was completed in conjunction with CMIA Capital Advisors, Bintang’s strategic partner in Singapore.

“When we first came up with the idea of setting up a private equity business in 2015, I realized that the strong demand from both our institutional and high net-worth clients for more sophisticated investment solutions, including private equity, will only grow over time” said Teng. “We came to the conclusion that in order for us to successfully capture this opportunity, we had to move quickly to establish a private equity business with its own proprietary deal flow and a dedicated team.”

The Bintang team will be led by managing partner Johan Rozali-Wathooth, who joined Affin Hwang Asset Management as deputy managing director in 2016; , and Soon Poh Lean, who joined the new private equity firm this month from Kuala Lumpur-based RHB Banking Group, where he was head of mergers and acquisitions.

Also joining the Bintang’s investments team are Theresa Lim and Andrew Tan, both of whom also previously worked for RHB Investment Bank under Soon.

“The team we have assembled brings together a strong combination of investment, strategic advisory and execution, technological/operational, and project management capabilities,” Rozali-Wathooth said in a release, “which will allow us to bring a high level of holistic value-add to our investee companies.”

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