GEF appoints managing director for South Asia

Washington's Global Environment Fund has appointed Raj Pai as managing director in its Mumbai office, and is raising a $300m fund focussed on clean energy in South Asia.

Global Environment Fund (GEF), an environment and cleantech-focussed investment firm, has appointed Raj Pai as managing director for India and South Asia.

Pai joins GEF from CID Capital, a US investment firm, where he was a managing director and responsible for making growth and expansion capital investments in India and the US. He helped raise two venture capital funds, and deployed them in the technology, life sciences and clean technology sectors.

At GEF, Pai will focus on investment opportunities within GEF’s target sectors with a special focus on clean technology and alternative energy in Asia, the firm said in a statement. He will be based at GEF’s Mumbai office.

GEF and India’s Yes Bank are raising a $300 million (€189 million) private equity fund for investing in clean energy opportunities across the South Asian region. The South Asia Clean Energy Fund will focus on growth and expansion capital opportunities and a large portion of the capital raised will be allocated to India, according to a report on VC Circle, an Indian private equity and venture capital blog.

“We are still in the fund raising process and the first closure is expected soon,” the report noted Pai as saying.

Manila-based Asian Development Bank (ADB), the multilateral development organisation for Asian countries, is one of the promoters of the fund and has invested in it. Shin Kim, an investment officer at ADB's private sector operations department, told PEO in March this year that the South Asia Clean Energy Fund was one of five funds selected by ADB out of the 19 responses it got following its call for proposals to create clean energy-focussed private equity funds. He said that ADB is investing $20 million in each of the five funds.

Established in 1990, GEF manages $1 billion in private equity investments.