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Ontario Teachers’ Opens India Office; Keki Mistry To Be Senior Adviser

Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board has established its maiden presence in the country with an office in the financial capital to up its focus on domestic investments.

It also announced that mortgage major HDFC’s vice chairman and chief executive Keki Mistry will be a senior adviser to OTPPB, which already has investments of over Rs 18,000 crore in the country, as per an official statement.

The Mumbai office is located in the Bandra Kurla Complex business district, which already houses the who’s who in the financial world, and will be manned by a team of 10 by the end of 2022, the statement said.

The OTPPB announced that Deepak Dara, who joined the company in 2020 as chief of staff to the chief investment officer, will be serving as the head of India operations by taking over the role in early 2023.

The team of 10 will consist of new hires to be done locally and transfers from its other offices, it said, adding that the presence is expected to scale up further with the growth in the investment portfolio.

Ben Chan, executive managing director and head of Asia-Pacific, has the oversight of the office in Mumbai along with others in the region in Hong Kong and Singapore, it said.

This is the sixth global office for the company, which has investments of over Rs 14.85 lakh crore across asset classes, and is aimed at building on its existing Indian portfolio.

The Indian office will target investments in India across all asset classes, including public and private equities, infrastructure, real estate, credit and venture and growth equity, the statement said, adding the presence will help in sourcing investments, nurturing long-term partnerships, and attracting strong local talent.

“India is an attractive investment destination and will be one of our growth markets over the next 5-10 years. It has a large, growing, and dynamic economy, with openness to foreign capital which makes it a strategically important market for us,” OTPPB’s president and chief executive Jo Taylor said.

Mistry, who is presently steering the largest merger in Indian corporate history as the mortgage lender fuses into its subsidiary HDFC Bank and is likely to retire after the transaction, will be in a global advisory role and is not involved in day to day operations.

He will provide access to a high-quality network and opportunities, and will be guiding on market dynamics, the OTPPB statement said.

Chan said Mistry brings an “exceptional depth of expertise and an invaluable understanding” of the region, which will be critical as it continues to grow business in India.

Its portfolio of Rs 18,374 crore includes a $350 million bet on Edelweiss Alternate Asset Advisors, investments in private equity funds Chryscapital and Kedaara Capital, Sahyadri Hospitals Group, Verse Innovations, a road platform promoted by buyout major KKR and the recently announced $300 million for a 30% stake in Mahindra Susten.

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