UK/ASIA – The joint private equity venture between London based Hermes Private Equity Management (HPEM) and United Overseas Bank Group (OUB) has had its first closing on the UOB Hermes Asia Technology Fund.

The fund with a target size of US$150m restricted its first closing to the sponsors – the UK BT pension scheme trustees, the owner of Hermes, and UOB, who together invested US$45m.

The fund will invest primarily in unquoted companies in South East Asia, the People’s Republic of China - including Hong Kong, Taiwan, Korea, Japan and the US.

UOB and Hermes believe that Asia’s advantages in technology are its highly skilled and little paid workforce, and the fast growing consumer market.
"We believe there are tremendous money making opportunities in combining the growth potential of technology with the dynamism of the Asian markets and the UOB group’s experience and relationships throughout the region," says David Goss, co-managing director at UOB Global Capital.

The fund’s advisor is the Singapore based UOB Venture Management Private, a wholly owned subsidiary of UOB.

The fund is a second joint venture in private equity between UOB Global Capital, an asset management arm of UOB and HPEM. The first vehicle was a fund-of-funds arrangement investing in European private equity, which had its first closing in October 2000.