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Neuberger Berman Pushes Deeper into Private Equity

An Italian acquisition bolsters Neuberger’s secondary private equity investment strategy and furthers its European reach.

  • By Joe McGrath

Neuberger Berman has acquired a portfolio of the assets and nine staff members from Italian fund group Fondo Italiano di Investimento, further expanding its private equity team.

In a statement issued on Thursday, Neuberger Berman said funds including the NB Secondary Opportunities Fund IV, had acquired all of the units of the Italian group, which has investments in 21 companies.

Fondo Italiano di Investimento was previously owned by 10 financial groups: Cassa Depositi e Prestiti, Intesa Sanpaolo, UniCredit, Monte dei Paschi di Siena, Nexi, Banco BPM, Banca Popolare dell’Emilia Romagna, Credito Valtellinese, Banca Popolare di Cividale, and UBI Banca.

The New York headquartered investment group said the deal was part of the group’s investment strategy to provide liquidity to investors seeking to monetize their private equity portfolios.

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Anthony Tutrone, managing director and global head of NB Alternatives, said members of the Fondo Italiano team would move across to the Neuberger Berman private equity business in Italy, which is focusing on partnering with mid-market companies.

Tutrone said that the company had identified “very strong Italian entrepreneurs, who are leaders in their fields.” They will benefit from access to Neuberger’s “global network and capital” to accelerate their growth plans,” he said.

The acquisition follows a similar deal in 2015, where Neuberger Berman acquired a bundle of investments from banking group Intesa Sanpaolo.

The group spun up from of the ashes of Lehman Brothers and the management have been driving an expansion in alternative investments in recent years.

In May, European trade publication Real Deals reported that Neuberger had hired Philipp Patschkowski as principal of its European private equity team. Patschkowski had held the same role at rival Coller Capital for the previous eight years.

In Thursday’s statement, the company said its private equity team has raised over $7 billion for secondary private equity investments since 2005.

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