Actis hires new IR head

The appointment of Neil Brown comes as the firm attempts to wrap up fundraising for its Actis Global 4 vehicle, which is targeting $1.6bn.

Emerging market specialist Actis has appointed Neil Brown as a partner and head of investor relations. 

Brown joined on October 7 as a replacement for Jonathan Bond, who will depart at the end of this month. 

Brown previously co-founded Minerva Capital, an advisory firm which specialises in strategic transactions and raising capital. He has also worked at Allco Finance Group in Sydney as head of funds management and head of debt and equity capital markets. Prior to that, Brown spent a number of years at Citigroup in New York and London as a business head within Citi’s Alternative Investments business. 

“I’m confident that his experience and industry acumen will be valuable to the firm, and most importantly, to our investors,” Paul Fletcher, senior partner at Actis, said in a statement. 

Jonathan Bond leaves the firm after heading up fundraising at Actis, and its former parent CDC Group, for almost 13 years. During this time, Actis went from one limited partner to more than 160 and raised nearly $7 billion, a source close to the matter told PEI in May. 

As well as hiring Brown, Actis has taken on two more senior hires in its sector teams. Sachin Korantak has joined Actis as head of industrials and Andreas von Paleske has joined as director of consumer in the London office. 

Korantak joins from Sikorsky, where he first was director of M&A and then president of Sikorsky’s subsidiary, where he led a successful turnaround and grew EBITDA by 33 percent. Prior to that, he led several large-scale performance transformations at McKinsey, working with several large multinationals.  

Von Paleske joins after spending nearly a decade working at Lion Capital, where he sourced and structured private equity investments in the consumer sector.  During his time at Lion, he worked on consumer investments including Kettle Chips, Wagamama Restaurants and Findus Group. Prior to Lion, Von Paleske worked in investment banking with UBS.

The new appointments come as Actis attempts to wrap up fundraising for its Actis Global 4 fund. In May, PEI revealed Actis had reduced its target to $1.6 billion and changed the investment structure of the vehicle, after spending nearly two years in market. 

The firm had initially targeted $2.2 billion for Actis Global 4, plus additional region-specific investment vehicles for India, Africa, China and Latin America, which brought the overall fund target to $3.5 billion. Actis has now consolidated the regional vehicles into the main fund – apart from the Africa side pool, which has a $200 million target . 

The fundraising period for this vehicle is set to expire around November. As of January 2013, Actis had collected $1 billion for this fund.

Actis declined to comment. 

It is understood that its prior fund, Actis Emerging Markets III which closed on $2.9 billion in 2008, has realised returns of 2.8x and a 31 percent IRR as of Q1 2013.