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Darby hires head of Latin America

The firm has hired Roberto Velarde, former CIO of Grupo Inder in Chile, to manage its Latin America investment practice and develop additional private equity vehicles focused on the region.

Darby Overseas Investments, the private equity investment arm of Franklin Templeton Investments, has hired managing director Roberto Velarde to lead the firm’s Latin America investments.

Velarde, who joined Darby’s Washington DC office on 15 August, is responsible for managing Darby’s private equity business in Latin America, including the firm’s legacy funds focused on the region.  He was most recently a managing director and chief investment officer of Grupo Inder, a private investment firm in Santiago, Chile with private equity investments in Chile, Columbia and Peru. Prior to joining Inder in 2011, Velarde was a managing director and founder of investment and advisory firm North America Capital Partners and a principal and senior member of JPMorgan Partners Latin America.

At Darby, Velarde will “augment the expanding Darby private equity team in Latin America” and “spearhead the development of additional private equity products in the region”, a spokesperson for the firm wrote in an email.

Darby’s Latin America team, which now includes 23 investment professionals, has completed more than 45 investments in the region. The firm has raised five private equity funds in Latin America, including the $300 million Darby Hispanic Fund, a 2006 vintage, and the $121 million Darby-BBVA Latin America Private Equity Fund, a 2005 vintage.

The firm has also raised three mezzanine and infrastructure funds focused on Latin America.

Darby is led by chairman and founder Nicholas Brady and president and chief executive officer Richard Frank. The firm was founded in 1994 and has offices in Washington DC, Miami, Mexico City, Bogota, São Paulo, Hong Kong, Mumbai, Seoul, Vienna, Bratislava, Budapest, Istanbul and Warsaw.