Franklin Templeton Launches Joint Venture With Asia Alternatives

The deal will create a new entity called Franklin Templeton Private Equity, according to a Monday announcement.

Illustration by II

Illustration by II

Global investment management firm Franklin Templeton Investments has entered into a joint venture with Asia Alternatives Management to launch a private equity fund-of-funds entity that will provide clients with custom investment options.

The new entity, which will be known as Franklin Templeton Private Equity, will be managed by Arthur Wang, who is joining Franklin Templeton as a managing partner from San Francisco Employees’ Retirement System, according to a Monday announcement from the firm. Wang led the pensions’s investments in private equity, venture capital, real estate, natural resources, and other real assets, according to the announcement.

The move comes roughly six months after Mark Mobius, the man who built Franklin Templeton’s emerging markets team, retired from his role at the firm. The San Mateo, California-based investment firm has been looking to grow its private-equity investment options, according to the announcement.

“Expanding our alternatives platform has been a core strategic initiative for Franklin Templeton, and launching this dedicated private equity fund-of-funds business demonstrates our ongoing commitment to developing private market strategies that offer our clients unique asset exposures and return opportunities outside of the public markets,” said Jenny Johnson, president and chief operating officer at Franklin Templeton, in a statement.

Asia Alternatives, a platform that allows investors to make private equity investments in Asia, was founded in 2005. As of July 31, the firm had $11 billion in capital under management. Franklin Templeton, meanwhile, had $733 billion under management as of July 31.

Wang, who will work as a managing partner at the newly formed joint venture, will begin building his team in October, according to the announcement. Wang will begin working for the newly created business on October 1, according to a spokesperson for Franklin Templeton.


“Our private investment strategies will be structured to fill critical gaps in client portfolios,” Wang said in the statement. “I’ve experienced firsthand how global private investments can enhance portfolio returns and diversification characteristics, and our goal is to create customized solutions to provide these benefits to a broad range of institutional investors.”

[II Deep Dive: Emerging Markets Specialist Mark Mobius Retires From Franklin Templeton]

Melissa Ma, the co-founder of Asia Alternatives, added in the statement that she is “excited” to have someone of Wang’s caliber leading the new business.

The structure of the deal will allow Asia Alternatives to continue serving its current customers, while reaching new clients through the Franklin Templeton joint venture, according to Ma.

No financial terms of the deal were disclosed, and a spokesperson for Franklin Templeton declined to comment further. Franklin Templeton will be the majority owner of the joint venture, while Asia Alternatives and members of the management team of the new fund will hold minority investments in the joint venture.

“We see tremendous opportunity for growth in the alternatives and private equity space as investors look to add alpha and increase diversification in their portfolios by accessing a wider range of liquid and illiquid asset classes,” said Johnson in the statement.