Former Tata Opportunities PE fund chief Paddy Sinha joins NIIF

 Former Tata Opportunities PE fund chief Paddy Sinha joins NIIF

National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF), seen as India’s quasi-sovereign fund, has boosted its investment team by roping in Padmanabh (Paddy) Sinha, former managing partner at Tata Opportunities Fund, one of the private equity funds run by the Tata Group.

Sinha, who had quit Tata’s PE fund a year ago, had apparently floated an investment advisory firm LaunchBay Capital that was eyeing an India-focused growth-stage investing platform and was in discussions with an international PE firm for launching an Indian franchise jointly, as per his LinkedIn profile.

He has now joined NIIF as executive director and chief investment officer (CIO) for private equity and is likely to be part of the expanded six-member executive committee.

Currently, the committee comprises Sujoy Bose, MD and CEO; Prakash Rao, executive director and CIO- indirect investments; Rajiv Dhar, COO; Ambalika Banerji, executive director-direct investments; and Prasad Gadkari, executive director and chief strategy officer.

Sinha had started his PE industry journey with a short stint at ICICI Venture. He then moved to Temasek, the Singapore government’s investment firm. After almost seven years at Temasek he moved to Tata Capital’s flagship alternative investment unit and spent a decade before quitting the firm as the group decided not to sponsor its new fund.

For NIIF, this marks second senior hire this month. Besides Sinha, NIIF hired Ami Momaya from Morgan Stanley Investment Management who joined as a partner this month.

Early this year, NIIF had boosted its team by hiring one principal each for its fund-of-funds business and for Strategic Opportunities Fund, a direct growth-stage investment vehicle.

For the fund-of-funds wing, NIIF recruited Krupa Shankar from German development finance institution DEG. Shankar joined NIIF in February.

NIIF’s Fund of Funds invests through India-focused equity fund managers and currently counts four funds in its Limited Partner (LP) portfolio.

It has backed Green Growth Equity Fund, HDFC Capital Affordable Real Estate Fund 2, Multiples Private Equity Fund III and Somerset Indus Healthcare India Fund.

The Green Growth Equity Fund is managed by EverSource Capital, an equal joint venture between Everstone Group and Lightsource BP. The Multiples PE fund is approaching its final close. The Somerset vehicle is the second fund managed by Somerset Healthcare Investment Advisors.

NIIF also added Gordon D’Souza as a principal in the Strategic Opportunities Fund. He joined NIIF in January. Prior to joining NIIF, he was part of Investcorp’s private equity team in India for over 13 years. He became part of Investcorp when the Bahrain-based alternative investment firm took over the PE business of IDFC Alternatives.

NIIF says its Strategic Opportunities Fund makes growth-stage investments in companies and sectors that are strategically important to the Indian economy and are likely to benefit over the medium to long term. The sectors of initial focus are financial services, food and agriculture, healthcare and education, among others.

Pallavi S

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