Real estate private equity firm Starwood Capital Group, which has $14 billion of assets under management, has appointed Sundaram V. Rajagopal as Managing Director, India and Southeast Asia. The development comes as  Balaji Rao, current managing director at

Starwood Capital India Advisors Pvt Ltd, is leaving to pursue other interests. Rao will continue working with Starwood Capital during the interim period to transition his responsibilities to Rajagopal.

Rajagopal, who has earlier worked with US-based Starwood from 2002 to 2005, will lead all acquisition and asset management activities for Starwood Capital in India and Southeast Asia. He will manage the team based in Mumbai. Rajagopal, who has 17 years of real estate experience, was till recently country head for Lehman Brothers' Real Estate Partners' in India.

Starwood Capital opened its India office in 2006 and has investments including a landmark office project in Mumbai's Bandra Kurla district currently under construction. It has also invested in a  $1.25 billion integrated township in Kolkata along with Walton Street Capital and Shriram Properties. Starwood invests in various classes of real estate including office, retail, residential, senior housing, golf, hotels, resorts and industrial assets.

Rajagopal holds a B.S. in Civil Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin, an M.S. in Structural Engineering from the University of California at Berkeley and an M.B.A. with distinction from Harvard Business School.

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