Aberdeen Standard Investments and Phoenix Establish Private Markets Fund Financing Solution


Aberdeen Standard Investments (ASI) and Phoenix Group (Phoenix) are pleased to announce they have established a private markets fund financing strategy that is tailored to Phoenix’s financial objectives as an insurer.

It will initially be funded with £500 million of capital as it enters the market, which will be transferred from liquidity funds and short duration funds, in a strategy that seeks to generate increased returns from illiquidity premia, whilst assuming the least amount of credit risk.

The strategy focuses on providing investment grade, short duration loans to private markets funds in the earlier years of their life. Given the security on offer from diversified, institutional investor bases, in conjunction the short duration nature of the underlying loan tranches, Phoenix and ASI have created a solution that is well suited to Solvency II capital requirements, while achieving the objective of capturing the illiquidity premia that private markets can offer, without assuming undue credit risk. This is a ground breaking strategy for the European insurance market, in a space traditionally dominated by banks.

The strategy will be managed by Ian Shanks, a founder of the fund financing strategy in the banking market from his time at Bank of Scotland, where they established the strategy from 2000 onwards and where he built a business in excess of £10 billion across over 50 deals.

Peter McKellar, Aberdeen Standard Investments’ Global Head of Private Markets, comments:

“We are excited to be working with Phoenix on this private markets fund financing strategy. Between our two businesses, and our close collaboration with some of our valued banking partners, we have created a solution that can capture private market illiquidity premia and is tailored to helping insurers achieve their financial objectives, particularly with the establishment of a credit rating methodology that enables us to determine credit risk.”

“This builds on the foothold we have established in the market following our acquisition of Hark Capital. This means that we can now offer a complete private markets fund financing solution, whether targeting facilities secured against institutional investor commitments in the earlier years of a fund’s life, or secured against a fund’s net assets in the later stages.”

Neo Mooki, Aberdeen Standard Investments’ Investment Director, comments:

“We are delighted to have worked closely with our strategic partner Phoenix on this innovative fund initiative. The mandate is a strong example of the ongoing close collaboration between our two firms and an opportunity to develop a highly specialised mandate with a sophisticated investment sponsor. We believe this development could also lead other insurers to explore allocating capital to a private markets fund financing strategy, an area that has been overlooked by most insurers to date.”

Henrik Wijkander, Phoenix Group’s Head of Investment Risk, comments:

“This mandate was developed to access incremental illiquidity premiums across shareholder backed funds requiring high degrees of flexibility and limited appetite for market risk exposure. This investment marks an important step for us in our quest to deliver improved risk adjusted returns for shareholders and policyholders. We are delighted to have worked with ASI to create this new mandate and leveraging our strategic partnership.”


Executive America provides an in-depth view of business and economic development issues taking place across the country. Featuring interviews with top executives, government policy makers and prominent industry bodies Executive America examines the news beyond the headlines to uncover the drivers of local, state, and national affairs.

All copy appearing in Executive America is copyrighted. Reproduction in whole or part is not permitted without written permission. Any financial advice published in Executive America or on www.executiveamerica.com has been prepared without taking in to account the objectives, financial situation or needs of any reader. Neither Executive America nor the publisher nor any of its employees hold any responsibility for any losses and or injury incurred (if any) by acting on information provided in this magazine or website. All opinions expressed are held solely by the contributors and are not endorsed by Executive America or www.executiveamerica.com.

All reasonable care is taken to ensure truth and accuracy, but neither the editor nor the publisher can be held responsible for errors or omissions in articles, advertising, photographs or illustrations. Unsolicited manuscripts are welcome but cannot be returned without a stamped, self-addressed envelope. The publisher is not responsible for material submitted for consideration. Executive America is published by Romulus Rising Pty Ltd, ABN: 77 601 723 111.


© 2023 - Executive America. All rights reserved. A division of Romulus Rising Pty Ltd, an Australian media company (www.RomulusRising.com).