Campbell Lutyens has gained regulatory approval for its office in Singapore, it said on Thursday (21 June).
The placement agency is understood to have been seeking a license from the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) since last year.
The Singapore office is the firm’s second in Asia. Its Asia-Pacific co-heads – Conrad Yan and George Maltezos – will continue to be based in Hong Kong.
The most senior of the two employees based in the Singapore office is principal Aiva Sperberga, who focuses on Asia-Pacific secondary transactions. She is supported by associate Robin Seng.
Campbell Lutyens is currently advising on USD 7.8bn of transactions for Asia-Pacific clients, it said in a statement.
He said that while the placement agent has yet to secure a mandate to raise funds for an Asia-based infrastructure fund, the region is at a “point of inflection”. For now, LPs see investment in Asian infrastructure as a diversifier and not an alpha generator he said.
Meanwhile, “Singapore is developing two significant initiatives to facilitate the take-off of Asian infrastructure financing,” said MAS managing director, Ravi Menon in a speech on 5 June.
These are an infrastructure debt distribution facility and creation of investment benchmarks for infrastructure.
The infrastructure debt distribution facility involves the pooling of brownfield project finance loans from banks into a collateralized loan obligation.
Discussions with banks on this initiative are ongoing. A buyside source said this initiative has “taken a very long time”. He pointed to “an adverse selection problem, the fund will hold secondary loans which the banks have decided to get rid of,” but added that the MAS’ involvement will ensure that the fund does not hold “toxic waste”.
MAS said that they will update with more details about the infrastructure debt distribution facility when it is ready.