Ares SSG, an Asia-Pacific alternative asset manager, closed its third Secured Lending Opportunities Fund III (SLO III), achieving capital commitments of more than $1.6 billion, which Ares believes is the largest pan-Asian secured lending fund to date.

The close of SLO III marks the establishment of Ares SSG’s eighth fund. The fund has attracted a set of international institutional investors, including sovereign wealth funds, pension funds and insurance companies. The final fund size represents an approximately 100% increase compared with the predecessor fund, Secured Lending Opportunities Fund II, which closed in 2017 at more than $800 million.

The new Asia-Pacific-focused fund will follow the same investment strategy as its two predecessor funds, providing flexible capital solutions, primarily in the form of secured loans, to many businesses in the region. Ares SSG has already started investing SLO III and approximately 27% of the funds have been deployed to date.

“We believe the need for private credit solutions in Asia is becoming greater than ever in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis,” Edwin Wong, CEO and managing partner of Ares SSG, said. “Many banks are becoming increasingly cautious on new lending, and we believe we are well-positioned as an alternative investment manager to finance growth opportunities within the fund. Ares SSG aims to leverage its substantial network of relationships and direct lending experience and expertise to proactively unlock value in many businesses across Asia.

“We are pleased that our limited partners continue to demonstrate their confidence in us and remain optimistic about the long-term prospects for investment and value creation across the Asia-Pacific region. Building on our demonstrated success in the Asian private credit market over the years, Ares SSG will continue to focus on identifying attractive investment opportunities for investors by utilizing our in-depth credit markets knowledge, broad infrastructure platform and local insight of the region.”

“The doubling of the size of our latest Ares SSG direct lending fund reflects our team’s ability to invest dynamically across our broad Asia-Pacific footprint, deliver strong and consistent performance and attract a growing amount of support from both existing and new investors,” Michael Arougheti, CEO and president of Ares Management, said. “We are excited about future growth opportunities as Ares SSG continues to scale its business to meet the strong demand for financing solutions in the region.”