Standard Chartered replaces private equity head

Nainesh Jaisingh, former managing director and global co-head of PE, will replace Joseph Stevens as head of the unit.

Standard Chartered Private Equity (SCPE), the private equity arm of Standard Chartered bank, has named Nainesh Jaisingh as head of private equity, as the bank continues to reduce its exposure to the asset class, according to a source familiar with the matter.

Jaisingh replaces former head of private equity Joseph Stevens, who was fired by the bank this week for undisclosed reasons. Bert Kwan, managing director, head of private equity ASEAN region, was also let go, the source confirmed with Private Equity International.

The source also dismissed earlier reports that Standard Chartered is shutting its private equity business, emphasising instead that it is streamlining and reducing the business over time and focusing on selected investments.

It is not clear where Stevens and Kwan are heading next. Standard Chartered declined to comment on this matter.

PEI understands that the move is in line with earlier announcements from the London-based bank that it will reduce its private equity business in a bid to re-tool its core strategies. “We have been clear in our strategic announcement in November 2015 that the group is looking at non-core businesses, or those that do not sit within our tightened risk tolerance,” a spokesperson said in an email response.

In its latest management statement for the quarter ended 30 September 2016, the bank reported income for Principal Finance – covering private equity, real estate, infrastructure and mezzanine – was negative $30 million in the third quarter, taking the negative total income in 2016 to $197 million. Standard Chartered attributed the loss to continued weakness in equity markets.

Jaisingh, currently the global co-head of SCPE, will oversee the unit’s $5 billion of assets under management across more than 80 investments in Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. Among its investments in Asia are Singapore-based food business Phoon Huat and restaurant chain Crystal Jade, Chinese data centre developer Chayora, Vietnam-based mobile wallet service M_Services, and Korean water and energy company Kolon.