Ritchie Capital has appointed two new managing directors in its Hong Kong office. Rakesh Mital will be responsible for risk management and operations. Julian Ball will be responsible for deal structuring and originations throughout the region. Both men will report to Harjit Bhatia, RitchieÆs chairman & CEO in the Asia-Pacific region.

Like his new boss, Rakesh Mital has been hired from General Electric, where he served as chief credit officer for GE Global Electronics Solutions in San Diego. Before then he worked at the corporate headquarters of GE Commercial Finance in Stamford, Connecticut as a senior risk manager. Previously he worked in Hong Kong from January 1999 as the chief risk officer for various Asian-focused GE Capital businesses.

Julian Ball arrives from the Hong Kong office of JPMorgan where he ran both its Asian financial restructuring and power/utilities businesses. Before that he was an investment banker in the same company, having started out in Ernst & Young corporate finance and management consulting.

Ritchie is an alternatives asset manager involved inter alia in private equity, venture capital and hedge funds. This year, the company is also opening up in India and in future will consider offices in China and Japan.

Ritchie was established in 1997 and is headquartered in Chicago. Its Hong Kong office is its Asian beachhead. Business-wise it is focusing on high-growth economies in Asia, in particular China, India, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Australia and Singapore. The firm is interested in deals of three or four yearÆs duration with mostly mid-market growth companies or those in special situations. It is not going into head-on competition with either specialised buy-out or classic private-equity funds, but seeks a space in between.