KKR India director quits to head Avendus’s credit business

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Avendus Capital Pvt. Ltd, controlled by private equity firm KKR & Co., is hiring senior executives to strengthen its credit business.

Dhiren Mehta, a director at KKR India, will be the latest top executive to join the financial services firm, according to two people with direct knowledge of the development. Mehta will join Avendus as managing director of capital strategies.

In his new role, Mehta will report to Ranu Vohra, managing director and chief executive officer at Avendus Capital.

“Dhiren’s mandate is to help build out our alternative investment fund (AIF) portfolio and strengthen NBFC (non-banking financial company) syndication by playing a key role in raising capital,” Vohra said, confirming the development.

“His wide experience at KKR of building relationships with family offices and institutions in India will bring more value to Avendus to build our credit and long-short product portfolio,” Vohra added.

A KKR spokesperson declined to comment, while an email sent to Mehta did not elicit any response.

Mehta joined KKR in 2011 from Nomura India where he served as executive director, head of fixed income institutional sales for India.

Mehta started his career at Citigroup Inc. and worked at the company for more than 17 years across the equity and fixed income domains.

Mehta, as a member of KKR’s Capital Markets platform, is part of the structured credit team and is responsible for sourcing co-investments and fund-raising from domestic and international investors.

Mehta has played a significant role in helping portfolio companies such as Magma Fincorp Ltd, Dalmia Cements Ltd and Coffee Day Resorts access the capital markets, according to the KKR website.

US-based KKR bought Mumbai-based Avendus Capital for about $115 million in November last year.

As part of the transaction, KKR also committed itself to investing $60 million in the company.

After the acquisition by KKR, Avendus has hired several industry veterans.

Last month, Avendus hired the entire top management of Ambit Investment Advisory, including chief executive officer Andrew Holland, managing director Vaibhav Sanghavi and marketing head Bhautik Ambani.

Sandeep Thapliyal, head of commercial and investment banking at RBL Bank Ltd, has also joined Avendus to head the new non-banking financial company.

Thapliyal will join as chief executive officer of Avendus Finance Pvt. Ltd, Mint had reported in July.

The Avendus Group has four verticals: Avendus Capital Pvt. Ltd, Avendus Wealth Management Pvt. Ltd, Avendus Capital (UK) Pvt. Ltd and Avendus Capital Inc. (US).

Investment banking accounted for almost 80% of its revenue of about Rs200 crore in 2014-15.