Investec appoints Baird as Africa PE head

Peter Baird left Standard Chartered in November as it wound down its private equity business.

Investec Asset Management has appointed Peter Baird as head of African private equity, based in Johannesburg.

Baird had been head of private equity for Africa at Standard Chartered, where he enlarged the private equity portfolio from $200 million to $900 million. He left the London-based bank in November, amid reports it was winding down its private equity business.

Baird, who is taking on a new role at Investec, said the firm has a broader investment mandate than Standard Chartered, which focused largely on the sub-Saharan region.

“There was a head of the team, but Investec have given me broader responsibilities, with more client-facing and transaction focus. We’re serious about private equity, in Africa specifically,” he told pfm, PEI's sister publication. 

He said Investec is strengthening its private equity business in three ways: by increasing the team’s focus on ‘active ownership’ of the portfolio and on completing value-maximising exits; integrating the team more closely with Investec Asset Management as a platform; and getting closer to LP clients by returning capital more consistently and offering more co-investment opportunities.

“The existing team is very strong and stable, and in its nine year history, no one has left. Over time, if we are successful in increasing our AUM, we’d likely hire more people,” said Baird.

Investec Asset Management has been making private equity investments since 2008, investing in companies across the continent.

“Fund I is $150 million and has been fully invested for a few years. Its last investment in Feb 2014, Fund II is $300 million and is about 40 percent invested,” Baird said.

“We’re hoping to announce a couple of new transactions in the next few months, which would take it to roughly two-thirds invested. The funds have no specific sector focus and are pan-African,” he added.