Kester to leave Abu Dhabi Investment Authority

ADIA will announce a successor to James Kester, CIO of the private equities department, in the next few weeks.

The Abu Dhabi Investment Authority confirmed Wednesday that the chief investment officer of its private equity division, James Kester, has resigned and will leave the organisation in the next few weeks. 

It’s not clear why Kester is leaving or if he is going directly into a new job. He joined ADIA in 2010 and works in the private equity department headed by Hareb Al Darmaki. 

ADIA said it will name a successor to Kester in the next few weeks. The news about Kester was reported earlier by Fortune.

Prior to ADIA, Kester headed the private equity programme at US-based Zurich Alternative Asset Management, where he sat on the firm’s investment committee. Before that, he had a six-year stint as co-head of Allianz Private Equity Partners in Munich. 

Kester replaced Georges Sudarskis, who left ADIA in 2008 to set up his own investment management firm. 

ADIA has built up its internal private equity capabilities as it moves toward reducing reliance on external managers. In December, the sovereign fund brought on Craig Nickels, former head of private markets at the Washington University Investment Management Company as head of US fund investments in the private equities department. 

Also last year, ADIA hired AXA Private Equity chief operating officer Christophe Florin as head of emerging markets fund investments and Colm Lanigan as co-head of principal investments in private equity. 

ADIA reported in May that it had cut the amount of assets run by external managers by 5 percent, according to its 2012 annual review. About 75 percent of its assets were being managed externally, according to the review.