Tata Capital has hired Joe Sovran to lead its fundraising efforts. He will be based in London.
Sovran was previously a partner at Swiss fund of funds Capvent, where he spent seven years raising capital, developing and managing client relationships, and overseeing the due diligence of private equity funds.
The appointment comes as the India-focused investment arm of conglomerate Tata Group plans to raise $1 billion across its family of funds by December this year. As of March, the firm had raised $800 million, mostly from investors in Japan, Southeast Asia and Europe.
Currently, the firm is in the market for Tata Opportunities Fund, which had collected $450 million as of April, and Tata Growth Fund I, which has a target of $500 million.
While the firm is looking to raise capital from international LPs, sentiments regarding fundraising for India have been mixed.
“India may be the only emerging market in Asia that’s really suffering right now from a decreasing foreign appetite,” a placement agent recently told PE Asia.
One of the reasons, he said, is that “most existing private equity funds haven’t been able to demonstrate how they perform better than the Indian stock market”.
However earlier this month, WestBridge Capital Partners closed its latest fund at $500 million just six months after gaining independence from Sequoia Capital India.
As of July, a total of $1.95 billion had been raised for India this year across eight funds, according to Venture Intelligence. Last year, 23 funds raised $3.3 billion, while $3.8 billion was raised through 11 funds in 2009.
Sovran’s appointment followed the hirings of industry veteran Rajesh Singhal as a partner in May, and Padmanabh Sinha as senior partner and chief investment officer in January. Singhal joined Tata from Milestone Religare Capital while Sinha was previously with Singaporean sovereign wealth fund Temasek Holdings.