Private equity firm Advent International has hired P Jayendra Nayak to advise on investment opportunities in India. Nayak was until recently chairman and CEO of Axis Bank (formerly UTI Bank), the third largest private sector bank in India.

Nayak will join Advent's operating partner programme. He will help the Boston-headquartered financial sponsor to develop its business in India and will also focus on investments in the financial services sector.

Nayak's departure from Axis Bank in April this year was high profile. His term at the helm was due to end on July 31, but when the Axis Bank board proposed to appoint the head of ICICI Prudential Life Insurance, Shikha Sharma, as managing director and CEO of Axis Bank -- a decision Nayak did not agree with -- he decided not to complete his tenure. At the board meeting to confirm Sharma's appointment on April 20, he tendered his resignation.

Nayak was with Axis Bank from 2000 until 2009 and is largely credited with growing it from a small operation to a bank with 750 branches across India and overseas, and a deposit base of approximately $21 billion. He joined from the Unit Trust of India, the country's largest mutual fund, where he was executive trustee.

 "Many businesses in India are seeking to accelerate their growth both domestically and internationally and we expect to see more investment opportunities as this private equity market matures," said Georg Stratenwerth, Advent's managing director with responsibility for developing the Indian operations. "With our plans to open an office in India in 2010, Nayak's extensive experience will be invaluable to Advent and our team as we develop our presence in the country."  

Advent was founded in 1984 and has raised $24 billion in capital since then. It focuses primarily on buyouts and has invested in 40 companies. The firm has offices in 15 countries. In Asia it has an office in Tokyo and an affiliate relationship with Seavi Advent, which has offices in Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Hong Kong, Shanghai and Beijing.

Advent invests predominantly in five sectors: business and financial services; healthcare; industrials; retail, consumer and leisure; and technology, media and telecommunications. It made its first investment in India in October 2007 in Computer Age Management Services (CAMS), a provider of business process outsourcing services to the asset management industry.