Ex-TPG Partners Target $1.5 Billion for Maiden Fund

  • Ben Gray, Simon Harle said to start marketing in 4th quarter
  • New firm said likely to attract money from U.S., Middle East

The former co-head of Asian operations at TPG, one of the world’s largest buyout firms, is targeting A$2 billion ($1.5 billion) for his first independent fund, people familiar with the matter said.

Ben Gray, 44, plans to start marketing the fund in the fourth quarter, said the people, who asked not to be identified because they weren’t authorized to speak publicly. Gray, who is working with Simon Harle, also a former TPG partner, has told market sources the firm will invest exclusively in Australia and New Zealand, the people said.

Gray left his position at TPG at the end of 2016 after 12 years at the firm. He helped lead TPG’s investments in some of Australia’s biggest private equity deals, including the A$3 billion acquisition of hospital operator Healthscope Ltd. in 2010.

The new fund is expected to receive backing from investors in the U.S., Middle East, Europe and Asia, the people said. Money managers may be attracted by Gray’s performance record at TPG, where he was responsible for achieving an annualized rate of return of more than 50 percent on realized investments in Australia, they said.

Harle joined Fort Worth, Texas-based TPG in 2006 and was involved with deals including poultry business Inghams Group Ltd., which listed its shares on the Australian Stock Exchange in November.

“Ben Gray has been a great partner over the years and we look forward to partnering with him as he builds a new business focused on the Australia region,” Luke Barrett, a spokesman for TPG, said Thursday in an e-mailed statement. Joel Thickins now heads Australia investments for that firm.

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