CD&R adds Unilever chief to operating stable

After a 33 year career at Unilever, Vindi Banga has become the second consumer goods veteran this year to join the private equity firm as an operating partner.

Manvinder “Vindi” Banga has joined Clayton Dubilier & Rice from Unilever as an operating partner in its London office. A spokesman said that the firm would hope to benefit from Banga’s expertise and contacts developed during his 33-year career at the Anglo-Dutch multinational. 

Vindi Banga

He was chairman and managing director of Hindustan Unilever, which is Unilever’s operating company in India and the largest consumer goods manufacturer in the country. As president of foods, he oversaw Unilever products such as the world’s best-selling tea brand Lipton; he was also responsible for the company’s sustainability agenda, which targeted all Unilever’s tea farms to achieve Rainforest Alliance certification by 2015. 

Banga is the second consumer goods expert hired by the firm this year; former Procter and Gamble boss AG Lafley joined in April. The firm also hired another brand giant, Paul Pressler in an advisory role in July 2009. Pressler was formerly president of Gap, Disneyland and The Disney Stores. 

Known for its heavy use of operating partners for its portfolio companies, CD&R was founded in 1978 and is one of the world’s oldest private equity firms. It is ranked 18th in the PEI 300, our annual ranking of the world’s largest private equity firms.

CD&R’s eighth fund held a final close on $5 billion in January and its latest acquisition is London-based used car dealership BCA. The firm’s investment portfolio includes retail company Sally Beauty holdings, which distributes professional beauty supplies.