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General Atlantic MD quits, to set up own company

Reghu Balakrishnan  |  Mumbai 

Global private equity (PE) giant General Atlantic’s managing director, Sunish Sharma, has put in his papers to pursue new options. According to sources, Sharma, based out of Mumbai, is set to join hands with another PE veteran to float a new PE fund.

Sunish SharmaIt is the second top-level exit that took place at General Atlantic in the last one year. Raul Rai, another MD at the company, had quit last year and joined Fidelity Growth Partners India as managing director to lead the PE business. Both Sunish and Raul were elevated as managing directors in 2006.

In General Atlantic, Sharma focused on the technology, healthcare, financial services, and energy & resources sectors. He was a director on the boards of Sharekhan and Infotech Enterprises and a director on the Hexaware board.

Prior to joining General Atlantic in 2004, Sharma worked for McKinsey & Company, Inc. He is an Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta, graduate.

Pat Hedley, managing director and spokesperson, General Atlantic, said: “Sunish Sharma has left General Atlantic to pursue entrepreneurial opportunities.”

At present, the India office is headed by Ranjit Pandit. He was the former managing director, India, McKinsey & Co. Abhay Havaldar, another MD, who set up the Indian operations in 2002, shifted his operations to Singapore early this year.

In the present scenario, where individual-owned PE funds are mushrooming, it is common for senior PE executives to quit their high-paid jobs and launch their own funds. Renuka Ramnath, former CEO, ICICI Venture quit in 2009 to set up her firm, Multiples Alternate Asset Management. Ajay Relan, former MD at Citigroup Venture Capital International (CVCI), floated his firm CX Partners. Another former CVCI managing director PR Srinivasan has also started his own firm Exponentia Capital.

Rajesh Khanna, former MD at private equity major Warburg Pincus, quit last year to launch his firm-Arka Capital. Last year, Rajeev Gupta, MD, Carlyle India, had also resigned from the company.

Early this year, Business Standard reported the exit of Padmanabh Sinha, managing director, Temasek Holdings Advisors India Pvt Ltd. Sinha joined Tata Capital as senior partner-Private Equity.

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First Published: Fri, September 30 2011. 00:37 IST