Consultancy WTW has secured commitments worth €500m for its first private equity investment fund. The WTW Private Equity Access Fund is a mutual fund (Publikumsfonds) open to members of defined contribution (DC) pension plans and other institutional investors.

It is the first evergreen fund set up by the WTW’s private markets solutions team, according to the firm. WTW expects to make the fund available to investors in Europe and the Asia Pacific region in the third quarter of this year, following regulatory approval expected in Q2, it said.

It is setting up the fund in the European Union through a Reserved Alternative Investment Fund (RAIF) structure under Luxembourg Law.

RAIFs are open to investors that can adequately assess the risks associated with an investment in such a vehicle, including institutional investors, professional investors and investors who have confirmed in writing that they adhere to the “well-informed” investor status, according to ALFI, the fund industry association in Luxembourg.

The fund will invest in a range of private equity strategies, including co-investments, WTW added. It intends to make inroads in the DC market to better meet the long-term needs of many institutional investors, including Pensionfonds, it said.

Historically, private equity assets have been difficult to access for DC plans and private wealth clients, WTW noted.

The valuation of the assets in the fund will always reflects their current underlying value, a mechanism ensuring a certain quarterly flow of liquidity, WTW explained.

The mechanism to assess the valuation of assets involves third party experts who, in line with established market standards, carry out these assessments in the context of an “evergreen structure” and semi-liquid funds, it added.

Tobias Bockholt, head of investments Germany at WTW, said: “This fund is the first of its kind, and is extremely interesting for investors with long-term investment strategies. With the Luxembourg-based mutual fund [structure], we offer access to private equity investments that support long-term investment strategies.”

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