UTI to establish private debt fund in India

The asset manager will become the next player to tap into the increasingly popular Indian credit market.

India’s UTI Asset Management Company (UTI AMC) is planning to set up a private debt fund to diversify its alternative investment portfolio.

The company has hired three senior executives from Religare Capital Markets to manage the new commitment to the asset class, according to a statement.

Rohit Gulati has been appointed as managing partner at the company. Gulati was previously managing director and head of investment banking at Religare Capital Markets. Before that, he held senior roles at ICICI Securities, ICICI Bank and PricewaterhouseCoopers. He has over 19 years of experience in the corporate finance domain.

Shaurya Arora has been appointed as partner at the company. Arora was most recently director at Religare Capital Markets for structured finance products. Prior to that, he worked for WL Ross & Co., Lehman Brothers and Merrill Lynch.

Sumit Khandelwal has been appointed as principal at the company. Previously, he worked at Religare Capital Markets and JP Morgan.

Prior to joining UTI AMC, the three had worked together at Religare Capital Markets for more than six years to build the company’s credit advisory business and had closed several transactions.

In their new roles, the team will establish a UTI-sponsored private debt fund to exploit what are perceived to be several credit arbitrage opportunities in India.

“Private debt is at the cusp of significant growth in India and diversification into that segment is an attractive opportunity for UTI AMC. I am confident that alternate credit investment will be a material business for UTI Capital and I am delighted to bring on board Rohit and his team to help build out this new business vertical for us,” said Leo Puri, managing director at UTI AMC.

Last year, Baring Private Equity Asia (BPEA) acquired Religare Global Asset Management’s credit unit and appointed Kanchan Jain, former CEO and principal managing partner of Religare Credit Advisors, to head its credit business in India.

UTI AMC is the investment manager of UTI Mutual Fund. The fund is sponsored by Bank of India, Punjab National Bank, Bank of Baroda, and Life Insurance Corporation of India.