GIH replaces head of alternatives

Rajiv Nakani will lead the Kuwaiti government-backed firm’s alternative asset management arm.

Kuwait’s Global Investment House (GIH) has named past employee Rajiv Nakani as senior vice president and managing partner of its private equity arm, Global Capital Management. He replaces Shailesh Dash, who left the firm at the end of October “to pursue other interest and seek fresh challenges”, according to a GIH spokesperson.

Rajiv Nakani

Nakani joins from Dubai-based private equity firm Eastgate Capital Group where he had been an investment director since 2007. Prior to that, he was head of investment banking at GIH, a position he held from August 2004. Before, he was a director in mergers and acquisitions at Kuwait’s The Sultan Center Food Products Company, a Kuwaiti food supplier and retailer, where he built a private equity platform for the retail, food and beverages sector.

At GIH, Nakani will head a 50-strong private equity team managing about $3.2 billion across five private equity funds. Since inception, the firm has deployed more than $1.5 billion in 55 transactions across 11 sectors in the Middle East, North Africa, Turkey, South Asia and China.

Nakani’s appointment comes on the heels of confirmation earlier this week that GIH has reached an agreement with its creditors to restructure and reschedule its debts, after reportedly defaulting on nearly $3 billion in loans in December 2008. The firm is expected to sign a deal with lenders before the end of November, Maha Al-Ghenaim, CEO and managing director, said in a statement. In March, the firm reshuffled its management team and streamlined its reporting lines in a bid to reduce its debt burden.