BlackRock hires Mumbai-based MD for Asian credit deal sourcing

Rajat Agrawal will help the firm develop its India strategy as it raises its first Pan-Asian opportunistic fund.

BlackRock has hired Rajat Agrawal, a former senior risk executive for DBS India, as its first Mumbai-based managing director in the firm’s Asian private credit team.

The new hire will seek to develop a strategy for opportunistic credit, including distressed and non-performing loans, sourcing and assessing investment pipelines in India.

In his previous role, Agrawal oversaw credit, operational, market and liquidity risks and was responsible for monitoring and recovering non-performing loans and stressed assets.

BlackRock also confirmed to PDI that Agrawal will oversee the deal sourcing aspect of its Asian private credit business.

He will report to Neeraj Seth, a Singapore-based head of Asian credit at BlackRock.

Requests to speak with Agrawal were not returned by the time of publication.

Seth co-manages BlackRock’s opportunistic Asian credit fund series, Asia-Pacific Private Credit Opportunities Fund I, with Justin Ferrier, a Singapore-based managing director at BlackRock’s Asian credit team.

“The increasing importance of private credit in our clients’ portfolios in terms of providing returns, income, and diversification has been a significant driving force in [the] expansion of our global private credit platform,” said Seth in a statement.

PDI previously reported that Blackrock’s Pan-Asian fund will mainly focus on senior secured lending in the mid-market and will opportunistically invest in stressed deals in selected countries. It is understood that the Asian credit fund series is still being raised, targeting up to $500 million.

In addition to regional expansion, BlackRock has been positioning itself in global private credit markets this year with the recent acquisition of Tennenbaum Capital Partners (TCP), a Los Angeles-based private credit manager with a presence in mid-market performing credit and special situations investing.

The New York-headquartered firm announced on 1 August that it had completed its acquisition of TCP. Although terms were not made public, BlackRock disclosed that TCP had $9 billion in committed capital with over 80 employees as of December 31, 2017.

BlackRock’s overall alternatives assets under management (AUM) was sized at $135bn as of end-June, according to its Q2 earnings result. Its illiquid alternative platform, which includes real assets and private corporate investments, had $49 billion in assets under management and $18 billion in committed capital as of end-March, according to a presentation shared during BlackRock’s 2018 Investor Day on 6 June.