The trend of new private equity firms eyeing the infrastructure opportunity in Asia continues.

Former executives from Asian Development Bank and Australia's Macquarie have formed a pan Asian private equity firm Equis Fund Group which will tap investment opportunities in energy and infrastructure sectors in both India and China. The PE firm is exploring a target size of around $300 million to $500 million for its debut fund, according to a report in Infrastructure Investor. Equis is based in Singapore, with its regional offices located in Bangalore, Hong Kong and Beijing.

Rajpal Chaudhary, former Executive Director and co-founder of property management firm Assetz Property Services, is one of the five founding partners of Equis and will lead its Indian operations from Bangalore.

There are several infrastructure focused funds in the Indian market. Some of the largest funds active in the Indian market include Macquarie SBI Infra Fund, 3i Infrastructure Fund and IDFC Private Equity. Global and Asia-focused funds run by players like Morgan Stanley, JPMorgan and Actis are also fairly active in the Indian deal-making economy.

Chaudhary has over 12 years of experience in the real estate industry in India, Singapore and the UK with also an experience in PPP projects. He started his career with CBRE and later worked with Jones

Lang LaSalle where he established and managed the JLL Research and Consulting business in India.  His team was responsible for delivering much of the early analysis that assisted in the creation of the

Bangalore IT corridor, ITPL and many other IT/ mixed use projects across India. Rajpal also worked on the planning and analysis of many projects across the UK such as Asthon Town Centre and the Olympic City before returning to India in early 2006.

Chaudhary could not be contacted despite several attempts. Assetz Property’s office in Bangalore, declined to comment on any such developments, saying that Rajpal Chowdhary was out of town.

Three of the founding partners are from Macquarie Group. They include David Russell, who headed Asian private equity and Greater China operations as a senior managing director; Lance Comes, former head of infrastructure and principal investments, Korea and senior managing director; and Adam Ballin, who was a director at Denham Capital Asia Pacific and former head of acquisitions of the Macquarie Korea Infrastructure Fund. The fifth partner is Josh Carmody, who was the head of the Asian Development Bank’s Asia Pacific Carbon Fund.

According to the present operational structure of the fund, Russell takes care of operations in Hong Kong and Beijing offices and will be joined by a team of seasoned Chinese power industry professionals.

Comes, Ballin and Carmody will be based in the Singapore head office.

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