Buyout duo in first-time fund launch

New firm will be based near London’s Marble Arch

Edmund Lazarus, managing partner at Bregal Capital, and Mark Joseph, a former partner at mid-market buyout firm Oakley Capital have set up a UK limited liability partnership called EMK Capital, according to a July filing with Companies House.

According to the filing, the fund will look to make investments “mainly in unquoted shares and securities” and has a 10 year life – the typical life span of a private equity fund.

It will be based at 17 Connaught Place, close to the private equity heartland of Mayfair in London.

Raising a first-time fund is difficult work. Preqin’s 2016 global private equity report found 62% of investors are unwilling to consider investing in maiden funds.

However, there are signs that investors are eyeing certain first-time funds in a more positive light and a number have closed successfully in recent months. London-based Broadwell Capital’s Tactical Opportunities fund raised $ 1 billion in June and fellow first-time fund Mayfair Equity Partners hit a £400 million final close on its first fund on September 28.

Lazarus has prior form setting up private equity firms having co-founded Bregal in 2002. The firm, with Lazarus at the helm, has raised three private equity funds receiving commitments of over £3 billion. Bregal has a focus on financial services and is currently investing its £1 billion third private equity fund Bregal Capital III. Bregal declined to comment.

Before founding Bregal, Lazarus worked at Morgan Stanley Capital Partners as well as investment banks SG Warburg and Merrill Lynch. Alongside his professional career, Lazarus currently chairs the London Green Fund and was nominated by then Mayor of London Boris Johnson to chair the investment committee of the London Development Agency from 2008 to 2012.

Joseph joined Oakley Capital Private Equity in 2007 and led on investments including Oakley’s acquisition of German online dating company Parship. Prior to joining Oakley, he was a managing director specialising in the telecoms sector at investment bank UBS.

Joseph declined to comment and Lazarus did not respond to requests for comment.

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