Ashutosh Maheshvari quits Motilal Oswal to launch debt fund
Ashutosh Maheshvari

Ashutosh Maheshvari has quit Motilal Oswal Group where he was serving as chief executive officer of its investment banking business to launch a structured debt fund.

Mint first reported that Maheshvari is leaving after a decade-long stint with Motilal Oswal, along with Suraj Warrier, to raise around $300 million for their new venture called Catalyst High Yield Fund.

The duo is expected to launch a road show in a month and would tap high-net-worth individuals, family offices and foreign funds. Catalyst would look at investments between $20 million and $50 million with an average investment period of four-five years.

The fund would provide structured financing options targeting businesses that go through various business life cycles in the industrial sector. Other areas of focus for Catalyst will be pharmaceuticals, automobiles, building material and food processing. 

Maheshvari joined the investment banking practice of Motilal Oswal in 2006. He was previously an executive director at Rabo India Finance Pvt. Ltd, a non-banking financial company that is part of Rabobank Group.

“The fund’s objective is to generate income streams by investing in debt instruments of Indian corporates and share upside through an increase in profit or equity value of investee companies,” Maheshvari told Mint.

Maheshvari and Warrier confirmed the development. 

Warrier has around 18 years of experience in structured and project finance and debt syndications. He has worked with GE Capital Services, Rabo India Finance and CRISIL. 

Other founding partners of Catalyst include Siddharth Bhargava and Amit Khosla.

Bhargava has eight years of experience in credit trading with Goldman Sachs and was executive director with the firm before joining the fund as managing partner. Previously, he has worked with Merrill Lynch for less than two years and three years with DB Zwirn Asia Partners in its special situations hedge fund. 

Before joining Catalyst, Khosla was managing director at Asiabridge Capital. He was also chief representative of Hana Bank in India from 2009 to 2013 and brings over 12 years of experience having worked in New York, Hong Kong and India. He was with Actis Capital and was part of a team that was setting up the business of acquisition of distressed debt. He also worked with JP Morgan Chase & Co and Fox-Pitt Kelton in New York and Hong Kong.

In a similar move, Vishal Bakshi, who has been with Goldman Sachs Group for the last 16 years, has quit the firm to float his own private equity (PE) firm Avatar Growth Capital Partners.

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