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Warburg Pincus said to seek $1.6 billion for financial deals

Former Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner now serves as president at the Warburg Pincus private equity firm.

Warburg Pincus, the private equity firm where former Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner is president, is targeting $1.6 billion for its first fund dedicated to financial services, people familiar with the matter said.

The firm is in early stages of marketing and aims to hold a close on capital in December, said one of the people, who asked not to be identified because the process is private. It will be the third strategy-focused fund for Warburg Pincus, which has historically done deals in one global fund.

The two prior strategy-specific pools — one focused on energy and the other on China — use a companion-funds tructure, in which the funds split deals evenly with the firm's global private equity vehicle. The new financial services pool will use the same setup, said one of the people.

A spokeswoman for New York-based Warburg Pincus declined to comment.

The firm is an active dealmaker in financial services, a sector team run by former UBS Group AG banker Michael Martin. After his arrival in 2009, Warburg Pincus turned big profits on the regional banks it snapped up after the financial crisis.

Open to writing checks at various stages of a company's growth, the firm has done deals including the purchase of a partial stake in Banco Santander SA's asset-management business and the lead investment in a $220 million funding round in Mosaic, a solar-panel financing business. The firm has invested almost $8 billion in financial services since 2005.

Warburg Pincus, led by co-chief executive officers Chip Kaye and Joe Landy, oversees more than $44 billion in assets. It traces its roots to EM Warburg & Co., which was founded in 1939 and acquired by Lionel I. Pincus & Co. in 1966, forming the current version of the firm.