GIH appoints head of alternatives

Rajiv Nakani will head the Kuwaiti government-backed firm’s alternative asset management arm. He replaces Shailesh Dash, who resigned two weeks earlier.

Kuwait’s Global Investment House (GIH) has named Rajiv Nakani as senior vice president and managing partner of its private equity arm, Global Capital Management. He replaces Shailesh Dash, who leaves the firm at the end of October “to pursue other interest and seek fresh challenges”, according to a GIH spokesperson.

Nakani joins from Dubai-based private equity firm Eastgate Capital Group where he had been an investment director since 2007. Prior to that role he was head of investment banking at GIH, a position he held from August 2004. Before this earlier stint with GIH, he was a director in mergers and acquisitions at Kuwait’s The Sultan Center Food Products Company, a Kuwaiti food supplier and retailer, where he built a private equity platform for the retail, food and beverages sector.

According to a GIH statement, Nakani will strengthen the firm’s alternative asset management products and services. He will head a 50-strong private equity team managing about $3.2 billion across five private equity funds: Global Private Equity Fund, Global Opportunistic Fund, Global Opportunistic Fund II, Global Buyout Fund and Global MENA Financial Assets. Since inception, the firm has deployed more than $1.5 billion in 55 transactions across 11 sectors in the Middle East, North Africa, Turkey, South Asia and China.

Nakani’s appointment comes on the heels of confirmation earlier this week that GIH has reached an agreement with its creditors to restructure and reschedule its debts, after defaulting on nearly $3 billion in loans in December last year, according to media reports. The firm is expected to sign a final deal before the end of November, Maha Al-Ghenaim, CEO and managing director, said in a statement. In March, the firm reshuffled its management team and streamlined its reporting lines in a bid to reduce its debt burden.