New York Life Insurance Company has backed Jaguar Growth Partners, a new investment company focused on real estate emerging markets.

The US mutual said it expects to commit up to $100m (€78.7m) to Jaguar’s first fund and has taken an interest in the company.

Jaguar, founded by Gary Garrabrant last year, is targeting real estate opportunities in Asian markets with expanding middle classes, aspirational youth and urbanisation. The private equity firm invests in and develops operating platforms and companies.

The firm is yet to specify which countries it is targeting, although Latin America is likely to feature.

New York Life vice chairman and CIO John Kim said the decision to be an anchor investor in the new fund will ”add value for our policyholders and contribute to the financial strength of the company”.

Garrabrant stepped down as CEO of Sam Zell’s Equity International in 2012.

In July, Jaguar hired Daniel Ho as principal of investments, Winston Wilkinson as senior vice president for institutional advisory, and Rowena Chin as controller for accounting and financial reporting.