Somers acquires 15% stake in Singapore fund manager Aura Group

Photo: REUTERS/Beawiharta

Bermuda-listed investment holding company Somers has acquired a 15% stake in Aura Group, the Singapore-headquartered alternative investment and wealth management platform, according to an announcement.

Finance details of the acquisition were not disclosed. Somers, which is managed by global fund manager ICM Limited, said it will collaborate with Aura Group on investments following the deal.

ICM currently manages approximately $2.6 billion in funds directly and is responsible indirectly for over $20 million of assets in subsidiary investments. It operates in 10 offices globally and specialises in utility and infrastructure, financial services, mining and resources, technology, and fixed income.

“Aura is an attractive investment for Somers given their Asia Pacific region footprint combined with their fast-growing investment platform,”  said Jonathan Chi, general manager of ICM.

Aura Group managing director Calvin Ng said the deal is a milestone for Aura as it continues to scale its operations in the Asia Pacific region. The partnership, he added, gives the Singapore-based fund manager a stepping stone into the European capital markets, where Somers has a strong presence.

Aura Group was founded in Australia in 2009 and is headquartered in Singapore. It has offices in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, and Ho Chi Minh City.

In September 2020, the firm said it was on track to hit the first close of two of its venture funds – a $100-million Southeast Asian fund called TNB Aura Fund 2 and a A$50-100 million Australia-focused fund called Aura Venture Fund 2.

Both venture funds target early-stage tech startups between seed to Series B stages in their respective regions.

Aura’s first funds – the Southeast Asia-focused $22.7 million TNB Aura Fund 1 and Australia-focused A$50 million Aura Fund 1 are closed and are in the process of being fully deployed.

One of Aura’s recent exits was from business software company Trade Gecko, which was acquired by software giant Intuit for a reported $80 million.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.