Private equity major General Atlantic has announced opening its Asian office in Singapore to focus on the expanding South-east Asian markets. The new office will be headed by managing director Abhay Havaldar who will be assisted by Nick Nash, vice-president with General Atlantic who moves in from New York, the company has said in a statement today.

The Singapore office will be the 10th office globally and fourth in Asia besides General Atlantic’s offices in Beijing, Mumbai and Hong Kong. So far, the private equity major has invested nearly $2 billion to support the growth of two dozen Asia-based companies.

General Atlantic’s recent investments in Asia include Indian lender IndusInd Bank; Asian Genco, a hydroelectric power production company in India; Tenfu, a leading tea brand and retailer of tea products in China; Sun Art Retail Group, China's largest hypermarket, and SouFun, the largest online real estate portal in China.

Bill Ford, CEO of General Atlantic, commented, “As one of the first growth equity firms to expand globally and build regional investment teams, we are excited about extending our presence into South-east Asia. Abhay Havaldar established our Mumbai office nearly eight years ago and built it into one of our largest offices worldwide.

It is a strong sign of our commitment to growth companies in South-east Asia that we have asked Abhay and Nick to relocate to Singapore to launch our investment activities in the region.”

Abhay Havaldar said, “Our presence in Singapore will expose us to the many exciting high growth investment opportunities in South-east Asia and support our current Asia investment programme in China and India.”

Havaldar had relocated to Singapore sometime ago, leaving the reins of the Indian arm to Ranjit Pandit. However, Sunish Sharma, a senior team member at the India office and managing director at General Atlantic, had moved out to join Manish Kejriwal (former head of Temasek India) to form a new PE firm Kedaara Capital.

Incorporated in 1980, General Atlantic typically invests between $50 million and $500 million either as a minority or majority investor in private and public companies and between $1 billion and $2 billion per year in growth opportunities globally.

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