Ascend Partners Announces Closing of $570 Million Inaugural Fund at Hard Cap

NEW YORK – December 9, 2021 – Ascend Partners (“Ascend” or the “Firm”), a healthcare focused private equity partnership, today announced that it has closed its inaugural fund, Ascend Capital Partners Fund I (“Ascend Fund I” or the “Fund”), with total committed capital of $570 million. The Fund was oversubscribed and hit its hard cap. Ascend Fund I’s Limited Partners include public and private pension funds, foundations, financial institutions, and family offices with a shared mission of improving the access, affordability, and quality of healthcare for underserved and vulnerable communities.

Founded in 2019, Ascend is led by co-founders In Seon Hwang, former global head of Healthcare at Warburg Pincus and member of the Executive Management Group, and Dr. Richard Park, founder and former CEO of CityMD, a leading patient-centric healthcare services company in New York and New Jersey. The Firm partners with entrepreneurs and companies that are working to improve care quality and clinical success by enhancing patient access and experience through efficient coordination, technology, and network management. Ascend is working to deliver on its mission of creating premier community-based healthcare companies equipped to manage complex Medicare and Medicaid patient populations. Ascend is comprised of an integrated team with private equity investment, entrepreneurial, and operational expertise.

With the close of the Fund, Ascend is strategically positioned to invest in the large and fragmented physician practice management market. In order to support its portfolio companies, Ascend has built a management services organization, CareAbout, which employs a team of full-time operating executives with deep experience in improving healthcare delivery. The CareAbout team is comprised of senior leaders with expertise across the healthcare services ecosystem, including quality improvement, multi-site practice management, data analytics, value-based care delivery, and population health management. In addition to increasing the access and affordability of healthcare, Ascend seeks to help patients navigate the healthcare system and empower physicians with the technology to provide exceptional care.

“The closing of our inaugural fund enables us to continue bringing high-quality, affordable care to communities that need it most,” said Mr. Hwang. “As children of poor immigrants, our shared experience of growing up in disadvantaged communities has made Richard and me acutely aware of how impactful high-quality healthcare is and what it takes to deliver it. We founded Ascend on the belief that serving these communities requires more than just financial capital – we need to build genuine partnerships with community-based healthcare providers and support them with operational, network, and technology resources.”

“As a practicing physician, I have a keen appreciation for the daily challenges that physicians and healthcare providers must overcome to deliver exceptional care,” said Dr. Park. “We are dedicated to putting patients first and foremost in everything that we do. Especially as our healthcare system transitions to value-based care, we are investing to bring joy back into the practice of medicine by aligning physicians, patients, and payors. We have the opportunity to improve patient lives and overcome the fragmentation of care by using our integrated, operational strategy to build a sustainable, quality-focused healthcare delivery model.”

Since its inception, Ascend has partnered with several healthcare companies, including CareAbout, a management services organization; Rendr, New York’s largest multi-specialty physician group serving Asian-American patients; Essen Health Care, the Bronx’s largest independently operated multi-specialty healthcare delivery organization; Consensus Health, a fast growing multi-specialty medical group in New Jersey; and Ilumed, a population health management company dedicated to the Medicare Direct Contracting Entity program.

Credit Suisse served as placement agent for the Fund, and Kirkland & Ellis served as legal counsel to Ascend.

About Ascend Partners

Ascend Partners is a growth-oriented, healthcare focused private equity firm. Ascend’s mission is to build thriving communities by partnering with premier patient-centric healthcare companies that improve the access, affordability, and quality of care for underserved and vulnerable populations. In addition to making direct investments, Ascend has built a team with deep operational experience to assist its portfolio companies to grow more efficiently, serve providers and patients at scale, and drive the benefits of value-based care delivery.

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Ed Trissel / Tanner Kaufman
Joele Frank, Wilkinson Brimmer Katcher