Anubha Shrivastava, the managing director responsible for Asia investments at CDC Group plc, has quit to “pursue other opportunities,” the firm said in a statement. The UK government’s development finance institution, which is one of the largest investors in India-focused private equity funds, is looking for a replacement. It could not be immediately ascertained where Shrivastava is joining.

Meanwhile, CDC has added Hiti Singh (who was earlier with the Africa team) and promoted Clarisa De Franco in the Asia funds team. Now, both will be portfolio directors.

Shrivastava spearheaded CDC’s fund-of-fund investments in Asia since 2007, mostly across South and South-east Asia and also in China. But recently, the firm had changed its strategy to focus only on South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa besides increasing direct investments.

New appointments

CDC has also beefed up its direct investments team with three new appointments. Earlier this year, it appointed former Actis executive Mark Pay as managing director to lead the direct investment efforts.

Today it has appointed Ross Coull, who joins as investment manager and comes from the London-based PE firm Sovereign Capital. It has also appointed IDFC Private Equity’s Rohit Anand and Clean World Capital’s Maheep Jain as investment executives.

Additionally, CDC appointed Holger Rothenbusch as managing director of the new debt and structured finance team. Holger re-joins CDC, having previously worked at DEG, the German development finance institution, where he was senior vice-president (Asia & Europe). He was responsible for a portfolio of equity, debt and mezzanine investments of more than €2.5 billion at DEG. Holger replaces Hywel Rees-Jones, who is stepping down from his full time role as managing director but will remain at CDC in a part-time capacity.

India in CDC portfolio

India happens to be the single largest market in terms of exposure for the CDC Group, which has assets of $4 billion (£2.6 billion). India accounts for around 21 per cent of assets, followed by China at 18 per cent, according to its latest annual report. Last year, CDC said it would invest up to £800 million ($1.3 billion) in South Asia by 2015.

In South Asia, CDC is now investing in funds focusing on poor states and businesses operating at the bottom of the pyramid. In 2011, it made fresh commitments of $80 million to three funds – Pragati India Fund, which focuses on the eight poorest states in India, and social venture funds Lok Capital and Aavishkaar.

Shrivastava’s departure

Shrivastava’s departure comes as the CDC Group has been going through a change in strategy and the top management over the last 12-18 months. Under the new investment strategy announced in 2011, it plans to concentrate its new commitments in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. It had earlier invested across Asian markets including China.

CDC, which primarily acted as a fund of funds, now also plans to make direct investments and focus on debt under the new strategy.

Richard Laing, who has headed the firm for seven years, also stepped down in February last year. He was replaced by Diana Noble, who has worked with Clinton Foundation Health Access Initiative, Schroder Ventures and eVentures. CDC also appointed Colin Buckley as the new COO last month. Till recently, Buckley had worked with Children’s Investment Fund Foundation.

Shrivastava, an Economics graduate from Lady Shri Ram College and a master’s degree holder in Finance from London Business School, started her career in Arthur Anderson. She later worked with Hambrecht & Quist in the US and thereafter joined General Motors Asset Management’s Private Equity Group in New York. At General Motors, she focused on the global private equity fund-of-funds portfolio, as well as the global co-investment programme.

After that, she worked at Performance Equity Management, LLC, where she was responsible for managing the European fund of funds and co-investment portfolios.


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(Edited by Sanghamitra Mandal)

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