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Former JPMorgan buyout execs said to seek more than US$1b

[NEW YORK] Two senior executives from JPMorgan Chase & Co's former private equity arm plan to seek more than US$1 billion for middle-market company buyouts in the US, according to two people with knowledge of the matter.

Jacques "Jac" Nasser and Tom Kichler are starting a firm called ORB Equity, said the people, who asked not to be named because the information is private. Both men were previously with One Equity Partners, which became independent from JPMorgan earlier this year.

The move comes after JPMorgan sold buyout holdings in August to Carlyle Group's AlpInvest Partners, Blackstone Group and Lexington Partners. Dealmakers at One Equity Partners formed an independent firm called OEP Capital Advisors that will manage the rest of the bank's private equity portfolio.

Financial institutions have been under US regulatory pressure to sell businesses as they are required to bolster capital and reduce investments made with their own money. Citigroup Inc in 2013 divested from its Metalmark Capital private-equity business and sold its internal hedge-fund unit, renamed Napier Park Global Capital.

Mr Kichler declined to comment on the fundraising. Nasser is currently chairman of mining giant BHP Billiton Ltd. John Connolly, a spokesman for Mr Nasser at John Connolly & Partners, declined to comment. Eleanor Nichols, a spokeswoman at BHP Billiton, declined to comment.

One Equity was founded in 2001 as Bank One Corp's private investment arm and became JPMorgan's private equity arm when the banks merged in 2004.

OEP Capital Advisors, which managed US$5 billion in client assets as of January, is also raising money for a midmarket buyout fund, the first since the spinout. The fund will invest in middle-market companies in North America and Western Europe, according to its website.