Railpen co-invest specialist to lead Bfinance PE advisory

Sweta Chattopadhyay was involved in building the £28bn pension's co-investment programme and has been appointed to help increase Bfinance's emphasis on that area.

Bfinance, the institutional investment advisor, has tapped up a senior investment manager from RPMI Railpen to lead its private equity practice.

It is understood that Sweta Chattopadhyay’s appointment will help Bfinance increase its emphasis on co-investments, in addition to its existing manager search and selection, and portfolio construction services. She will also have “a mandate to help grow and evolve Bfinance’s private markets team”, according to a statement.

Chattopadhyay joined RPMI – one of the UK’s largest private pension funds with around £28 billion ($36 billion; €31 billion) of assets under management – in 2016. She was involved in the build-out of the fund’s co-investment programme, as well as growing its exposure to emerging managers and fundless sponsors. She also specialised in direct lending, distressed assets and other private debt strategies. Prior to joining RPMI, Chattopadhyay served as vice president at private equity fund of funds Adveq and in a due diligence role at the £50 billion Universities Superannuation Scheme.

An RPMI spokesman confirmed that the fund has plans to replace Chattopadhyay.

Chattopadhyay’s hire comes amid wider expansion of Bfinance’s advisor division, which accounted for more than 30 percent of the consultancy’s new business over the past twelve months. Private equity is one of a number of private market offerings, including infrastructure, real estate and private debt.

“The private markets division has been growing rapidly, representing an increasingly large proportion of the firm’s work for investor clients globally, and we anticipate that Sweta’s appointment will further fuel that expansion,” head of private markets Peter Hobbs said in a statement.

“Having been an institutional investor for most of her career, she brings valuable perspective on building/managing portfolios as well as sourcing and executing transactions.”

Bfinance’s latest appointment follows the launch of its first US office last year. The firm has two offices in Canada and six additional locations globally, including the UK, Germany and Australia.