Aberdeen Standard Investments has formed a 50:50 joint venture (JV) with private equity investment firm 21 Partners to launch a €1bn private equity fund later this year.

The JV, dubbed 21ASI, will be based in London and initially employ six staff.

The JV’s board will be headed by Alessandro Benetton, with equal representation from both partners.

Aberdeen Standard Investments co-CEO Martin Gilbert said: “This is an exciting opportunity to provide a direct private equity offering to our clients. There is a clear demand from them for private markets products which offer attractive returns and important diversification.”

The new fund will focus on Europe and take non-controlling stakes in companies to support their growth in the long term.

The fund, which has 15-year duration, will also support companies in managing their growth and disruptive forces.

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21 Partners founder and managing partner Alessandro Benetton said: “Creating sustainable value for companies requires increasingly more time and an industrial approach. I believe that this innovative fund represents the perfect combination of factors to help entrepreneurs and companies face the challenges that the market poses without changing the control of companies.”