New York-based StepStone Group has raised $90 million in commitments from three South Korean institutional investors since the start of this year, including $40 million from the Construction Workers Mutual Aid Association (CWMA) for US private debt investment.
StepStone became the first US private debt fund manager of CWMA which is committing $40 million to StepStone’s multi-manager fund investing in funds of seven general partners via its separately managed account. It was first reported by South Korea’s Financial News on May 8, and confirmed by a CWMA source.
Earlier this year, StepStone received $30 million in commitment from the Police Mutual Aid Association for private equity co-investment, in addition to the $20 million committed by the Korea Scientists and Engineers Mutual-aid Association to its co-investment fund. (see table below)
Additionally, StepStone made it through to Korea Post’s shortlist of six global private equity fund managers for co-investment, alongside France-based Ardian and four other US-based investment firms – GCM Grosvenor, Goldman Sachs, Hamilton Lane and HarbourVest Partners – Money Today reported in late March. The final selection is likely to be announced this month.
StepStone, with over $35 billion of assets under management, beat another New York-based asset manager Star Mountain Capital for the PDF mandate. CWMA conducted due diligence on the two shortlisted candidates in the US.
The South Korean retirement fund chose the multi-manager strategy fund because it lacks experience in global investments. Multi-manager funds give access to a diverse pool of funds and help build knowledge on global investment companies, while makings quick capital deployment because they invest in their existing general partners.
The bargaining power of StepStone is also expected to lead to deep discounts in fees, narrowing the fee differences with individual funds.
By Daehun Kim
<Edited by Yeonhee Kim>