Achuthan & Co--a private equity firm floated by former Credit Suisse director (alternative investments) Hari Achuthan--has roped in Livio Marianti, currently advisor and personal assistant to Qatar's Sheikh Sultan bin Ghanim Al Thani, as co-founder of the firm.

Achuthan & Co is believed to be raising a mega-sized fund to invest primarily in India and also in South East Asia.

Sources told VCCircle that the firm is also building its India investment team including general partners and other investment professionals. The PE firm would be a minority growth equity investor and will work closely with entrepreneurs on strategy. It will follow a sector-agnostic approach albeit with a focus on engineering, power, telecom, logistics, MRO (Maintainance, Repair, Overhaul in aviation), financial services, infrastructure projects and services. The source added that the firm will look at investing $50 million in about 20 investments.

Based in Doha and Dubai, Marianti will help the firm with his expertise in business development and deal sourcing, which spans globally across sectors with emphasis on energy, real estate, infrastructure, aviation and oil & gas, a statement from Achutan & Co said. Marianti will do business development across the Middle East, South East Asia and Russia. 

Hari Achutan, till recently a director at alternative investments division of Credit Suisse in New York, quit to float an asset management firm for investing in India and other emerging markets. Its other co-founder is Karl Bornefalk, who has founded various tech start-ups such as MambaIQ, an Internet start-up for media and advertising groups.

The firm also has advisors such as the former US Ambassador to Algeria Ulric Haynes, University of Texas professor of finance Ron Sweet, former Chief Executive and Chairman of Indian Oil Corp. M.S Ramachandran, and Bertil Tiusanen, director general and chief executive of Lanekassen. It has also got on board - Antonio Yavar, who prior to joining Achuthan & Co LLC, was an analyst in the investments group until May 30, 2010 at W.P.Carey & Co an investment management company which provides long-term sale-leaseback financing for companies worldwide and manages an investment portfolio approaching $10 billion.

Achuthan was selected as one of the emerging leaders in an internal program at Credit Suisse Asset Management in 2009 and was also named one of the "rising stars in public pensions" by trade publication Money Management Letter.  He was part of the three member team restructuring the assets of pension fund clients (who are big investors into PE funds) and became one of the top contributors to Credit Suisse revenues.

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