EBRD wins major private equity industry award

By Olga Rosca
@olgarosca

The EBRD has won Europe’s best Limited Partner of the Year award from global private equity industry publication, Private Equity International.

The Bank has topped a prestigious poll to find the best investor in equity funds in Europe. The poll held by one of the leading publications in the sector, asked the industry community to vote for the standouts of the industry.

“At a time when many limited partners are taking a very conservative approach to their risk profile and their geographical allocations, there is at least one large European institution that’s not afraid to brave new frontiers. The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, already the largest private equity investor in the CEE and Central Asia, has recently made its first forays in North Africa, with investments in Morocco and Tunisia. It’s also ploughing ahead with its investment activity in its core markets,” said Private Equity International announcing the award.

The EBRD invested €336 million in 11 private equity funds last year. As of 31 December 2011, the 10-year returns averaged by its private equity portfolio surpassed both the Cambridge Associates and EVCA benchmarks for the region.

“The vast majority of our equity funds invest in small and medium-sized enterprises and that is money that SMEs in the region urgently need,” said Anne Fossemalle, head of the EBRD’s Equity Funds team.

“Crucially, fund managers add value to these companies. The funds form a real partnership that helps these businesses not only grow but become more professional, transparent and more successful. And we help to make the fund managers themselves more institutional, which in turn helps them to attract major institutional investors,” she added.

Through its investments the EBRD has become the largest private equity funds investor in its region of operations, with investments in over 140 funds, backing over 90 fund managers for over €3 billion in commitments, with fund capital of over €15 billion.