Sev Vettivetpillai, managing partner at Abraaj Group, has resigned from the Dubai-headquartered private equity firm in the latest departure of a senior executive.
The resignation comes as Abraaj continues to deal with turmoil after some of its investors alleged misuse of funds, prompting it to pause fresh deployment of money and announcing changes to the firm’s governance, operating model and leadership team.
Vettivetpillai had joined Abraaj with the $1.3 billion acquisition of SME-focussed investment firm Aureos Capital in 2012. Vettivetpillai, who was CEO of Aureos Capital at the time, moved to Abraaj as part of the deal.
Abraaj confirmed in a statement that Vettivetpillai was leaving the firm. “Mr. Vettivetpillai is currently assisting with the transition process that is underway at the firm and will be departing upon completion of that process. He will continue to serve as a non-executive member of Abraaj’s Global Investment Committee till the end of 2018,” Abraaj said.
Industry publication Private Equity International reported Vettivetpillai’s resignation over the weekend. It also said he was a ‘key man’ for Abraaj, but the PE firm did not confirm this.
Abraaj has been in turmoil for the past few months. In early February, media reports said four of Abraaj’s limited partners had sought an independent forensic review of the firm over the alleged mismanagement of its Abraaj Growth Markets Healthcare Fund.
Later in February, Abraaj said it had paused fresh deployment of funds.
The firm, which had been consistently sealing one deal annually in India, said at the time that the pause was only for investments where final commitments had not been made.
Simultaneously, Abraaj also announced changes to the firm’s governance, operating model and leadership team.
Abraaj also recently called off its renewable energy platform with French group Engie.
Earlier this month, news wire Reuters reported that the chief financial officer of Abraaj, Ashish Dave, had left the embattled company six months ago and that two other senior executives were also preparing to leave.
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