New Indian sovereign fund appoints CEO
The appointment of Sujoy Bose as chief executive of India’s new sovereign fund was confirmed this week. He takes charge of the National Infrastructure and Investment Fund (NIIF), which starts with Rs40,000 crore ($5.9 billion) of assets.
Bose was previously global co-head of infrastructure and natural resources at International Finance Corporation, the private-sector arm of the World Bank. He has held roles at IFC dating back to 1992.
India’s economic affairs ministry said Bose had been considered a frontrunner in its search for a CEO, alongside Luis Miranda, former CEO of India’s IDFC Private Equity. In a statement about the appointment, the government cited Bose’s extensive international experience in the infrastructure sector, including in fundraising.
NIIF will invest in both greenfield and brownfield projects as it seeks to upgrade India’s infrastructure. It will work with local and global investors and is already collaborating with Middle East sovereign wealth funds Abu Dhabi Investment Authority and Qatar Investment Authority (QIA).
Indian prime minister Narendra Modi signed a memorandum of understanding with QIA, with a one-year term, during a visit to Doha in early June.
The setup of NIIF reflects a rising trend for Asian countries to have dedicated state-sponsored funds investing in infrastructure development. The most prominent is the China-backed Asian Infrastructure Investment bank, but Indonesia and Thailand are also making moves on this front.
The Indonesian government is forming an investment firm that will combine various state entities under one holding company, with a view to investing in domestic corporates and infrastructure projects.
Meanwhile, Thailand’s Future Fund (TFF) began operating in early 2016 aimed at driving more investment in domestic infrastructure, with mandates open to asset managers with local operations. TFF is a public-private partnership fund and, like NIIF, has foreign partners such as China Investment Corporation.
Taiwan’s investment association names new chairman
Taiwan’s Securities Investment Trust & Consulting Association, the country’s asset management industry body, has elected Jeff Chang, chairman of Cathay Securities Investment Trust, as chairman for a three-year term.
He succeeded Henry Lin, president of Fubon Asset Management, this week. Lin had been chairman of Sitca for the maximum two terms, since 2010. Lin had also served as chairman of the association for two terms from 2001-2007, when he was president of Uni-President Asset Management.
Chang has been chairman of Cathay Site since March 2013 and was president from June 2005 to February 2013. He previously worked as chief investment officer at the former ING Investment Management (Taiwan) – since acquired by Nomura Asset Management (Taiwan) – from 2003 to 2005. He was also head of investment research at Capital Investment Trust Corporation from 1995 to 2003.
Greenwich names new Asia leadership
US-based investment research firm Greenwich Associates has made two senior appointments to fill the gap left by the departure of its Asia head.
Markus Ohlig (pictured left) returns to the company as a managing director overseeing the firm’s investment management practice across Asia and Europe, based in Zurich.
And Paul Tan, head of corporate and institutional banking since August 2013, has been promoted to head of Asia-Pacific.
The changes follow the departure of Abhi Shroff, Greenwich’s former managing director for Asia-Pacific ex-Japan, after nearly nine years with the company. This week he joined US bond fund specialist Pimco as head of Southeast Asia business development, as reported.
Shroff had been promoted in early 2014 to regional head to succeed Ohlig, who had left in late 2013 after 11 years with the company.
Since then Ohlig has served as head of corporate business development at Swiss firm Bank Vontobel based in Zurich.
Ohlig had first joined Greenwich as vice president in New York in January 2003, before moving to London in March 2004 as a principal. He relocated to Singapore in August 2007 to become head of Asia ex-Japan.
Intel Capital appoints head of greater Asia
Intel Capital, a California-based private equity and venture capital manager, has reportedly promoted Anthony Lin to head of greater Asia, leading equity investments, acquisitions and strategic business development in the region.
The appointment was effective on June 29, according to China Money Network. Intel Capital could not be reached for comment or confirmation.
The firm reportedly has an 12-strong senior team in Asia-Pacific, across China, Hong Kong, Japan and Taiwan.
Lin joined the firm as director of mergers and acquisitions in 2008. Prior to that, he was vice-president at Banc of America Securities from 2004 to 2008. He also served as a senior associate at Presidio Financial Partners and as an investment banking associate at Merrill Lynch.
India VC firm Kalaari Capital hires trio
Indian venture capital firm Kalaari has expanded its senior management team with three hires in investment and operations, to be followed by more appointments across other business areas.
The firm has $650 million invested in early-stage Indian technology and raised $290 million last year.
Kalaari has appointed Prashanth Aluru as a partner focusing on the enterprise software and consumer sectors, and Pooja Gupta as head of portfolio human resources.
Aluru was previously a partner at consulting firm Bain, where he led the technology media and telecoms practice for nine years. Gupta was most recently human resources head at fashion retailer Myntra, a company seeded by Kalaari.
In addition, Kalaari has made the first senior hire for its subsidiary Kstart, appointing Muthiah Venkateswaran as partner. Kalaari plans to invest $20 million via KStart in up to 40 Indian startups over the next two years.
Venkateswaran previously founded Spencer Stuart's office in Bengaluru and led its digital and leadership advisory practices in India. Prior to that he was with management consultancy McKinsey and tech company Texas Instruments.
With key areas of investment, finance and HR covered by the new hires, Kalaari plans to make further appointments in legal, technology and marketing.
Walkers promotes partners, adding more in HK
Offshore law firm Walkers has appointed four new partners in its investment funds practice in Asia and one in the Cayman Islands, effective July 1. It will also be adding 12 lawyers to its Hong Kong office in the next three months, four of which will be in the investment funds practice.
The new partners in Hong Kong are Amelia Hall, Mark Cummings and Yin Xu, in Singapore James Twigg and in Cayman Nicholas Pattman. There are now 18 partners across all practices in Walkers’ Asia offices, out of 90 globally.
CBRE Global Investors adds China executive
Real estate asset manager CBRE Global Investors has hired Carrie Jia (pictured below) as Shanghai-based vice president in the global investor services team.
In this newly created role, she will be participate in raising and marketing funds, coordinating client service programmes and product development activities in China, among other things. Those areas were previously covered out of Hong Kong.
Before joining CBRE GI, Jia worked in the Shanghai Municipal Government Financial Services Office for two years, helping design and implement the qualified domestic limited partner (QDLP) cross-border investment programme. Prior to that, she worked for SPD Bank and HSBC.
Matthew Yao, senior vice president at CBRE GI, said that having more local resources in China would mean the firm could provide more efficient and prompt service to domestic investors, and more easily capture market growth.
Thailand’s SCB names new president
Bangkok-based Siam Commercial Bank (SCB) has named Arthid Nanthawithaya as president as of July 1, replacing Yol Phokasub. Nanthawithaya will also retain his role as chief executive.
He will continue to report to Vichit Suraphongchai, chairman of the executive committee.
SCB did not respond to queries about Phokasub’s departure.
Nanthawithaya was appointed CEO in April 2015, at the same time as Phokasub became president. He re-joined SCB in 2008 as senior executive vice president of corporate banking.
Nanthawithaya had started his career at SCB in the treasury department in 1994, before moving to Cargill Financial Services as a hedge fund manager in 1998. In 2000, he joined Standard Chartered Bank in Singapore and served as head of capital markets for Southeast Asia.
Other people news reported on AsianInvestor in the past week: