SWITZERLAND - Partners Group, a Swiss asset manager specialising in alternatives, has reported a 27% increase in assets under management (AuM) and a 69% jump in pre-tax profit for the first half.

Partners Group said its AuM rose CHF4.7bn (€2.8bn) to CHF22bn in the first six months of this year, adding virtually all of the increase (CHF4.3bn) was new inflows from investors.

This increase in AuM has led the Swiss alternatives manager to reaffirm it expects to be running CHF30bn for clients, including institutions such as pension funds, private banks and financial brokers, by the end of 2008.

Partners Group also said pre-tax profit on an EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation) basis totalled CHF112.6m in the first half - up 69% from the same period last year.

Based in Zug, Switzerland, Partners Group specialises in private equity, non-government debt, unlisted real estate as well as hedge funds and other alternative investment strategies.

Beyond its headquarters, Partners Group has offices in London, the Channel Island of Guernsey, New York, San Francisco and Singapore, but the alternatives manager also announced today it is opening an office in Tokyo, in part to profit from robust growth in Asia's private equity market.

"We're also seeing stronger interest among Japanese investors for alternative asset classes," said Christoph Rubeli, head of Asia for Partners Group.

To run its new office in Tokyo, Partners Group has recruited Junichiro Kawamura from Japanese bank Mizuho, where he previously set up and led a unit dedicated to alternative investments.