Infrastructure Development Finance Company Ltd (IDFC) is bolstering its team for private equity foray in real estate by roping in Nimesh Grover, till recently with UBS Raheja private equity joint venture.

Grover has joined as Senior Managing Director for real estate investments in an initiative being led by Chetan Dave, who joined earlier this year as president & CEO of Real Estate Investment. The move would be a comeback for Grover who worked as a principal at IDFC Private Equity for 3 years before moving as a vice president to Citi Property Investors. Grover holds a MMS from the University of Mumbai, and BE (Hons) in Chemical Engineering from University of Mumbai.

Grover was the Chief Investment Advisor for a JV between UBS and Indian real estate giant K.Raheja Corp, which has estimated commitments of up to $200 million. The JV had a small team operating out of Raheja Corp's corporate headquarters in Mumbai and had started scouting investments earlier this year.

It remains to be seen what happens to this JV, which was announced more than two years ago, and has seen significant rollbacks in its size and scope of operations. In 2007, just before the global economic crisis set in, UBS and Raheja had talked about setting up $1 billion real estate JV. UBS had a similar JV in China, operating with a local partner there.

While announcing the appointment of Dave, IDFC said, it plans on building and developing a portfolio of infrastructure focused real estate assets and a real estate private equity funds management business. Dave, former managing director & CEO of Sun Apollo Real

Estate Advisors, had helped launch and raise $630-million fund.

The establishment of a private equity real estate fund will expand IDFC's offering in the alternative investment area. The company's PE arm - IDFC Private Equity - already manages around $1.3 billion across three funds and it also has IDFC Project Equity, which is investing from the $930-million India Infrastructure Fund. The infrastructure financing major also launched a private equity fund of funds last year.

While there have been a few executive movements among realty fund executives, they have remained fewer as compared to general private equity professionals as realty deals still have to gather steam. US-based Starwood Capital appointed Sundaram Rajagopal, former country head for Lehman Brothers' Real Estate Partners, as managing director. Avnish Singh, former India head of GE Capital Real Estate, joined Tishman Speyer as head of acquisitions for the country.

Leave Your Comment(s)