KPMG India PE head quits

Vikram Uttam Singh has left the firm, to be succeeded by current head of transaction services Vikram Hosangady.

The head of private equity at advisory firm KPMG in India, Vikram Uttam Singh, has quit the firm and will be replaced by Vikram Hosangady, a KPMG spokesman confirmed to Private Equity International

Hosangady will also continue in his current role as head of the firm’s transaction services unit in India. 

“In 2013, [private equity] will be more focused on exits and companies working together to get their houses in order so that when the market turns, they are able to exits. That will be our focus as that is what private equity firms are going to be focused on,” Hosangady told PEI.

“The challenge will come more for companies or industries where government policy will affect them, so things like infrastructure. I think what private equity is going to be doing is monitoring whether they should cut their losses in certain situations. So we've been seeing over the past few months private equity has been selling off positions in a lot of situations. I think it is a strategy a lot of them are adopting because there is no point in carrying something that is eroding in value going forward.”

Uttam Singh reportedly confirmed his departure from KPMG in a telephone interview, but his reasons for leaving remain unclear. 

However, he becomes the third senior private equity professional to leave his position this week, after head of Asia at UK-listed private equity firm 3i Anil Ahuja and the firm's India-based partner Girish Baliga both quit their posts to pursue other opportunities.

Ahuja was at 3i for eight years and left the firm less than a year after it made extensive cuts across its Asia operations, including closing its Hong Kong and Shanghai office, while significantly reducing its headcount in Beijing, Mumbai and Singapore. 

Ahuja, an Asia private equity veteran, had expressed his disillusionment with private equity in India at PEI’s Mumbai summit last October, arguing that the industry is not living up to expectations. “This Christmas of 2012 will be the last for private equity in India.”