As markets have evolved and developed, ICG's core investment approach has always been based on being local, expert and entrepreneurial. Since 1989, we have adapted with changing market conditions to find new opportunities that support ICG’s core business model and allow new ideas to flourish. In 2010 ICG cemented a new corporate strategy to build a third party asset manager, based on this philosophy. We remain committed to supporting business owners, developing new investment strategies for fund investors and delivering shareholder value. The outline below gives an overview of this history.
The early days
ICG was founded in 1989 by six entrepreneurs; Andrew Jackson, Tom Bartlam, Jean-Loup de Gersigny and James Odgers with the backing of Andrew Phillips, Paul Piper and nine leading financial institutions. Company refinancings were starting to become more complex and they saw an emerging asset class; mezzanine, a layer of debt refinancing between equity and fixed income. The first investment was in a French fire protection equipment producer. From the start the company thrived, and by the next year were starting to make loans across Europe.
1994 ICG lists on the London Stock Exchange
ICG listed on the London Stock Exchange in 1994 as ticker symbol ‘ICP’, to become known affectionately by brokers as "frozen peas" (ICP - icy peas). The company also began managing funds on behalf of third party investors for the first time, having previously invested only from its own balance sheet. In 1995 the first office outside the UK was opened in Paris.
100th milestone investment
By 1998 ICG had made its 100th investment, launched its first European fund which raised €50million, and raised the first European CDO (Eurocredit 1 BV), as well as making investments in Nordic markets. By 2000 ICG has €1billion AUM, and raised a mezzanine fund of €397million.
Expansion into Asia Pacific
Towards the end of 2001 ICG had opened its first Asia office in Hong Kong. ICG also completed its largest ever underwriting, of Picard, a leading distributor of gourmet frozen foods operating in France, and ICG issued Europe’s first CLO fund: Promus I BV at €450million. In 2006 ICG opened an office in Sydney and made an investment in a New Zealand poultry producer.
By 2007 ICG opened an office in New York and closed European Fund 2006 with €2.15billion AUM. ICG made its first investment in Taiwan, and in Australia.
ICG and the crisis
In 2008 ICG launched the Recovery Fund 2008 aimed at exploiting opportunities in the loan market arising from the global financial crisis. In the same year ICG closed its US$1billion Intermediate Capital Asia Pacific Fund 2008, double the size of its first Asia Pacific fund. In 2009 ICG a rights issue raised £351million which provided ICG with substantial resources to take advantage of opportunities resulting from dislocation in the market.
New strategy, new era
In 2010 ICG refocused its corporate strategy to develop into a third party asset manager. It was a challenging year for fundraising, nevertheless ICG closed over €2.2billion of new fundraising, and acquired a controlling 51% stake of Longbow Real Estate to add an important new dimension to ICG’s strategies. Towards the end of 2010 Christophe Evain became CEO and ICG’s new course as a third party fund manager had begun. By this time bank deleveraging in Europe and the US was beginning to impact markets, offering greater investment opportunities and fuelling institutional investor interest in what for many was a new asset class, offering a good portfolio diversifier and higher yield at a time when equity markets were flat.
2011 onwards: Era of rapid growth:
New post crisis European CLO launched, a retail bond, ICG-Longbow raised a fund, ICG made a co-investment agreement with CITIC capital in China, a new European investment fund was launched; ICG Europe Fund V. These launches were followed swiftly in 2012 with a new senior direct lending strategy, a combined loans and bonds multi-asset credit strategy, further CLOs in Europe as well as European loan and high yield strategies.
2013 – Record fund closes and AUM
Following a period of extensive fundraising, ICG’s AUM reached a record €12.9billion in 2013, a significant level for a niche specialist asset manager. New strategies continued to launch; ICG-Longbow Senior Secured UK Property Debt Investment raised £104.6million in a main market IPO, ICG Europe Fund V closed at €2.5billion, and ICG continued to expand in Asia Pacific with a new office opening in Singapore and Japan following a new agreement with Nomura to jointly develop and launch a Japanese mezzanine fund.
Today ICG has a record AUM of over €22billion, and currently operates multiple strategies with investors from all over the world, across the spectrum of institutional investors, pension funds, insurance companies, banks, asset managers, fund of funds and sovereign wealth funds. New strategies continue to be added, including real assets and private equity. The continued deleveraging of banks in Europe, retrenchment of traditional providers of capital globally, and the growth of global regulation, support our business model. There are significant challenges ahead as ICG has grown to over 270 people with 11 locations around the world, from the original six founders, we move forward carefully still creating opportunities for good ideas and entrepreneurialism to flourish.