ADIA hires ex-KKR director to head India and SE Asia PE

Kabir Mathur has joined Abu Dhabi Investment Authority to lead the sovereign wealth fund’s private equity investments, as it continues building out its sector-led investment strategy.

Abu Dhabi Investment Authority has appointed Kabir Mathur, an ex-director at KKR, as head of private equity for India and South-East Asia.

Mathur officially joined ADIA in July and will be based in Abu Dhabi, a source with knowledge of the matter told Private Equity International. The appointment, a new position at the SWF, is part of an ongoing expansion of ADIA’s private equity activities, with an emphasis on principal investing.

Mathur’s hire comes a year after the $828 billion sovereign wealth fund restructured its private equities department. The reorganisation involved shifting from a product-focused approach to setting up regional teams with expertise in five key industries: healthcare, financial services, industrials, technology and consumer.

Mathur left KKR early last year, a KKR spokeswoman confirmed with PEI. He joined KKR in 2008 and was a director in the Singapore office where he oversaw the firm’s portfolio in South-East Asia that included Vietnam consumer group Masan Consumer and Singapore-based bulk container maker Goodpack. Prior to joining KKR, Mathur was a Singapore-based executive at TPG.

At ADIA, Mathur will be responsible for the sovereign wealth fund’s private equity investments in India and South-East Asia. The investor’s current portfolio in India includes stakes in KKR India Financial Services, KKR’s Indian alternative credit platform; Axis Bank; Housing Development Finance Corporation; Infosys NIIT and Shriram Transport Finance Company, according to local media reports. ADIA was also the first investor in the Indian government-backed National Investment & Infrastructure Fund, according to a statement.

Emerging markets, particularly India and China, remain a key focus of ADIA and it is seeking to deepen its relationships in these markets, the investor said in its 2017 annual report, published in April this year.

ADIA can invest up to 8 percent of its portfolio in private equity investments, according to its long-term policy portfolio in the annual report. The SWF did not disclose its current allocation to private equity.