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Former JP Morgan Asset Management India chairman Krishnamurthy Vijayan launches impact investment fund

Krishnamurthy Vijayan, a former executive chairman at JP Morgan Asset Management India, has launched a Rs 250 crore ($37 million) impact management fund christened Charioteer Fund-I to invest in India's livelihood and skills development space, as per a report in The Economic Times.

The fund was registered as a social venture fund under category I as per market regulator SEBI’s AIF norms, according to a public disclosure.

The fund will look to invest Rs 1-10 crore in micro-enterprise clusters with sweet spot of Rs 2 crore.

"We are looking to invest in ventures that will support minimum wage workers with bank accounts, medical cover of Rs 2 lakh and a new pension scheme. The fund's exit strategy includes the promoter buying back the fund's stake at a targeted IRR of 12 per cent," Vijayan said in the report.

The fund will invest in around 25 ventures with anticipated investment cycle of up to eight years. The first set of investments is expected to be made in two months.

Vijayan, a veteran of the mutual fund industry, started his career at UTI in 1986. Over the years he also worked at JM Financial and Jardine Fleming before joining JPMorgan Chase. He quit the firm to join IDBI Asset Management and soon moved on to join Mi India, a group of entities aiming to create an Indian equity fund for investing in microfinance institutions and social enterprises, as co-chairman.

Charioteer Fund follows creation of another impact investment fund by Somak Ghosh, former co-chief executive of Motilal Oswal Private Equity. Ghosh set up Contrarian Capital India Partners with a debut fund Contrarian Opportunities Fund I targeting a corpus of $50 million. It is chasing sectors such as education, healthcare and agri-businesses and will be looking to invest between $500,000 and $5 million in each company over multiple rounds.

Other active impact investors in the country include Omidyar Network, Lok Capital and Acumen besides Aavishkaar which recently closed its second fund at $94 million.

(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)

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