David Sainsbury, whose great-grandfather founded popular retailer J Sainsbury Plc, plans to put up to 253 million pounds ($337 million) into private equity funds through his family office, Innotech Advisers, according to a UK regulatory filing. .
The filing showed that the London-based company had already committed more than 400 million pounds ($532 million) to managed funds in the sector at the end of last year, when its investments totaled 1.1 billion. pound.
The 81-year-old is increasingly investing in private markets after his family office pulled out of the UK’s second-largest retailer, which has lost nearly a third of its value over the past two decades.
Innotech was still a major shareholder in the London food retailer in 2011 with a 5% stake worth about £270m, but the company had sold all of its shares by the end of 2018, filings show.
Innotech’s investment in private equity funds during the same period increased by more than 40%.
Innotech said in its recent disclosures for the year 2020, that it is in a strong position to take advantage of any suitable investment opportunities.
Private equity is a preferred asset class for family offices, the restricted companies that manage the finances of the wealthy. More than 50% of the 191 family offices surveyed this year by UBS Group AG see the sector as a way to access exclusive bets.
Sainsbury worked for his family’s namesake company for more than two decades and served as chairman of the board before stepping down in 1998 to pursue a career in politics. He is also Chancellor of the University of Cambridge and one of the UK’s largest philanthropists, with his charity giving more than £1 billion to causes including neuroscience, education and the arts.