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BlackRock elevates Maheshwar Nataraj to head India private credit operations

By Priyal Mahtta

  • 08 Mar 2024
BlackRock elevates Maheshwar Nataraj to head India private credit operations
BlackRock logo displayed on a screen on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. | Credit: Reuters/Brendan McDermid

Global asset management giant BlackRock has appointed Maheshwar Nataraj to head its private credit vertical in India. 

Nataraj had been leading the firm’s efforts in sourcing and managing India investments. He will “now take on the sole leadership role for our private credit platform in India where we continue to see exciting investment opportunities,” the company said in a statement.  

Nataraj succeeds Dhruva Agarwal, who previously headed the firm’s private credit and structured debt operations in India. BlackRock said Agarwal decided to step down due to personal reasons.  

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“Our APAC Private Credit platform has experienced strong growth momentum, supported by deep investment expertise of the team across various APAC markets,” the firm said in its statement.  

The appointment comes at a time when the private credit market in India is booming with an increasing number of both Indian and foreign companies entering the fray. Indian banking and non-banking financial services companies such as Kotak, Piramal and JM Financial as well as global asset managers and alternative investment firms such as Blackstone, KKR, Apollo Global, Hillhouse Partners and Ares Management operate in the segment. 

A report by EY shows private credit deal flow in India in 2023 surpassed the 2022 levels. The report showed 108 private credit deals valued at $7.8 billion were inked last year, up from 77 deals worth $5.3 billion in 2022. Globally, BlackRock anticipates the private debt AUM to grow to $3.5 trillion by 2028, up from $1.6 trillion as of March 2023. 

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