AEW takes club approach for new opportunity fund

The tough fund-raising environment for blind pool private equity funds has led AEW Europe to look for a club deal to launch its AEW Europe Partners vehicle.

The manager recruited Russell Jewell last year to head its private equity arm and aims to replicate the US opportunistic AEW Partners series in Europe. It is marketing the funds together to investors.

A source said that Jewell and his team, including new director Simon Blaxland, will launch the  strategy with “a couple of deals organised as a club”.

Blaxland founded Exmoor Group after stints with Goldman Sachs Whitehall Funds and GE Real Estate. AEW and senior staff will co-invest in deals.

AEW Europe’s chief executive Christian Delaire said Europe had won €1.5bn of new money and mandates so far in 2012.

These include a €500m non- European pension fund advisory mandate; a European investor’s transfer of the management of a portfolio worth around €500m; €240m raised in AEW Senior European Loans Fund’s first closing; plus money for the pan-European Logistis, UK balanced and French SCPI funds.