Nishith Desai is the founder of the research-based strategy driven international law firm, Nishith Desai Associates with offices in Mumbai, Silicon Valley, Bangalore, Singapore, Mumbai – BKC, New Delhi, Munich and New York. Nishith himself is a renowned international tax, corporate, IP lawyer researcher, published author and lecturer in leading academic institutions around the world. He specializes in Financial Services sector and assisted Government of Mauritius and Government of India in establishment of their offshore financial centers. Soon after India opened up its economy to the outside world in 1991, he established the first five India Focused funds and pioneered the roots of asset management industry and the firm has now worked for over 900 funds across all classes of asset.
Paul has been CEO of Old Mutual Alternative Investments (OMAI) since 2004, and has been involved with the business since its inception. During this time it has grown into the largest private alternative investment manager in Africa with over R60 billion in assets under management. He has a total of nearly 30 years’ experience in investments and capital markets. He has been with the Old Mutual Group since 1995 and currently chairs the Alternative Assets Investment Committee. He completed an Honours degree in Operations Research and holds an MBA from the University of Cape Town.
Prakash H. Mehta has over 20 years of experience working with asset managers, institutional investors and entrepreneurs and manages several of the firm’s key client relationships. He provides strategic, legal, business and operational advice on high-profile, transactional and litigation matters for clients around the world including private equity, hedge and credit fund sponsors; sovereign, endowment and pension investors; investment banks and other financial institutions; and private and public companies. Mr. Mehta serves as a member of the firm’s management committee and the co-leader of the firm’s investment management practice group, spearheading a number of cutting-edge cross-practice group initiatives. He is the leader of the firm’s India practice and was instrumental in the formation of the firm’s Hong Kong and Singapore offices. Mr. Mehta regularly advises some of the most prominent fund sponsors, institutional investors and investment banks on all aspects of their business, from capital raising and fund formation to implementation of their investment and other business strategies through complex transactions and, when problems arise, through regulatory investigations and litigation. He also advises clients on manager-level transactions, including seed arrangements, joint ventures and minority stake sales. Mr. Mehta’s representation of a broad range of asset managers and institutional investors allows him to keep abreast of emerging trends in the alternative investment industry. He has participated in internal investigations on behalf of emerging market companies and has handled numerous matters involving the World Bank’s anticorruption arm, or INT. He also counsels clients about cybersecurity related compliance and risk management. On the deal side, Mr. Mehta provides strategic advice on private equity-style investments (minority and control), exit transactions (strategic sale, recapitalization and IPO) and other M&A transactions (joint ventures, stock and asset sales). He provides ongoing counseling on investor and portfolio company matters and serves as corporate counsel to public and private portfolio companies. Over the last year, Mr. Mehta has spent significant time advising funds on the restructuring of shale-play investments impacted by the volatility in the energy sector, and on debt and equity investments in shipping assets around the world, in addition to advising Asian clients on U.S. inbound investments in a variety of sectors deemed attractive by virtue of the relative strength of the U.S. economy. Mr. Mehta received his J.D. magna cum laude from the Georgetown University Law Center, and received his B.S.F.S. summa cum laude from Georgetown University.
Runa Alam is the co-founder and CEO of Development Partners International (“DPI”). DPI is a leading private equity firm investing throughout Africa, and manages $1.1 billion in two funds, African Development Partners I (“ADP I”) and ADP II. ADP I is a Cambridge Associates benchmarked top quartile fund with 4 of its 9 companies already exited at blended returns in the high 20’s, and ADP II is being invested currently. DPI has focused on commercial returns while targeting ESG and impact since inception. With more than 9 years of data DPI has been a leading sustainability investor while building a high commercial return track record. ADP I and ADP II are managed with high standards of ESG and they create significant positive impact in the countries in which they invest. DPI is a signatory to the UN Principles for Responsible Investment (UN PRI). Runa has more than 30 years of private equity, emerging market management and investment banking experience. She has invested in Africa for more than 18 years. She serves on the Boards of many African companies which are investee companies of DPI or previous private equity funds. She has contributed to the development of private equity in Africa as a former Chair and a current Board Member of AVCA (the African Private Equity Association), Chair of the AVCA Sustainability Committee, and a Board and Africa Council Member of EMPEA (the Emerging Markets Private Equity Association). She also sits on the Advisory Committee to the Dean of the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University, and USAID’s Private Sector Partners Committee. Ms. Alam has won numerous industry awards including Private Equity Africa’s “Outstanding Leadership Award” for her work with DPI and the African private equity industry. DPI has also won numerous industry awards including “House of the Year 2017”, Best “Mid Cap Investor 2016”, Best Deal, Best Exit and Best Social Impact Deal. Ms. Alam started her career on Wall Street working for Morgan Stanley and Merrill Lynch. She is a development economist and is a graduate of Princeton University and Harvard Business School. She is also a Harry S. Truman Congressional Scholar.
Panaikorn Chartikavanij is a Partner and Co-Founder of Lakeshore Capital, a private equity fund that focuses on growth capital investment and buyout of industry-leading SMEs in Thailand and the Greater Mekong Sub-region. He was previously an investment banker at Morgan Stanley and a management consultant at L.E.K. Consulting. He was also an advisor to the National Economic and Social Development Board of Thailand, providing policy recommendations on the country’s competitiveness framework to the government. He holds an MEng from Imperial College and an MBA from Kellogg School of Management.
One of the most experienced private equity fund managers in India, Renuka has a full cycle track record of investing capital raised from global Institutions. As the founder and CEO of Multiples, a dedicated India focused private equity fund with an AUM of close to USD One billion, she has over the course of three decades in financial services, successfully built several businesses. The young independent platform of Multiples set up in 2009 has some stellar successes under the leadership of Renuka. Multiples played a leadership role to steer Indian Energy Exchange, a power exchange to an IPO; strategized and supported PVR, the cinema exhibition company to successive acquisitions to emerge as a leader. It backed the management to propel Cholamandalam Finance, and built a new platform for affordable housing in Vastu, thus supporting transformational journeys of young companies and new-age professional entrepreneurs across various sectors and situations to build a successful track record for Multiples. Renuka started her career with the ICICI Group including stints in investment banking and e-commerce; she led ICICI Venture as the MD & CEO of ICICI Venture, to become one of the largest private equity funds in India, scaling the proprietary platform from USD 50mm to USD 2.5bn under her management in 8 years. In the Indian PE market, she has pioneered first-to-market transactions like leveraged buyouts and management buyouts for Info Media India, ACE refractories, VA Tech Wabag as well as incubated several companies. Renuka has successfully built businesses and led teams on strategy formulation and delivering exits in different and varied situations. She has been frequently recognized in lists of ‘Most Powerful Women’ by several leading magazines such as Business Today, Economic Times, Forbes over the years. Renuka is an independent director on numerous Boards: Tata Communication Limited (Chair) – the first woman professional Chairperson in the Tata Group of companies, Ultratech Cement Limited and L&T Technologies Limited. She is also on the Board of several portfolio companies of Multiples such as PVR Limited, Indian Energy Exchange, Peoplestrong and Vastu Housing Finance. Renuka thrives on the challenges that markets and competition throw in the business, consistently finding ways to succeed by deploying the full human potential to deliver extraordinary returns.
With over 15 years’ experience in responsible investment, primarily serving the private equity, banking and development finance sectors, Shami was drawn to Actis by its leadership in responsible investing, the firm’s diverse culture and the opportunity to focus on growth markets. “Investing in the world’s most dynamic markets where environmental, social and governance challenges are typically the most acute, offers great opportunities to increase the value of our investments, whilst delivering positive impacts at the same time.” Shami leads Actis’ approach to responsible investment, working closely with investment colleagues and company management to assess and manage ESG issues, helping to build world-class businesses and to deliver societal benefits. Before joining Actis in 2014 she was as a senior consultant at PwC’s Sustainability and Climate Change team for ten years. Prior to this, Shami led the London business of Innovest Strategic Value Advisors, providing sustainability research and analytics to institutional investors and asset managers. Shami has also worked with the United Nations Development Programme in Central America. Shami is a member of the UN PRI Supply Chain Risks Working Group, and a Steering Committee member of the Emerging Markets Private Equity Association’s Sustainability Working Group. Shami represents Actis at the Business Integrity Forum run by Transparency International UK. Shami holds an MSc Environmental Technology, with Distinction, from Imperial College London and a BSc Biological Sciences from University of Durham.
Torbjorn is the Senior Partner at Actis, a role to which he was elected by the Actis Partners in June 2015. He has overall responsibility for the firm and its performance. Torbjorn appoints the key positions in the firm, including the Executive Committee which he chairs, and the firm’s investment committees where he chairs Actis’ energy investment committee. Prior to becoming Senior Partner, Torbjorn was the co-head of Actis’ energy business, a role which he held from 2008 and 2015. As co-head he was responsible for executing Actis’ energy strategy across Fund 2 and Fund 3 focused on PE-type investments in the power sector. Torbjorn joined Actis’ predecessor organization, CDC, in 2002 and was a founding partner and later the CEO of Globeleq, the sole platform company of Actis’ first energy fund. Before joining CDC/ Actis in 2002 Torbjorn was an entrepreneur and CEO for three years. Between 1987 and 1999, Torbjorn held positions at ABB in power plant services, sales, development, finance and equity investments. Torbjorn holds an MSc degree in mechanical engineering from Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden, and an MBA from IMD in Switzerland.
Paul Sanford is the Chief Investment Officer at TriLinc Global and is a key member of the Executive Management team. As Chief Investment Officer and Chairman of TriLinc’s Investment Committee, Paul has responsibility for planning, implementing and managing all investment management related activities of the Company and its affiliates. He is an experienced investment professional, most recently serving as Managing Director and Chief Investment Officer for Tow Financial Advisors, a Los Angeles-based boutique Registered Investment Advisor. As Chief Investment Officer, he was responsible for developing and implementing Tow’s global investment strategy, performing manager due diligence, and managing all fund investment relationships. His extensive experience in the banking and investment industry includes portfolio manager positions at Deutsche Bank, HSBC and Morton Capital Management. For over a decade, Paul has been a global macro investor with a focus on central bank policy, GDP growth trends, global interest rates, global currencies and foreign government policies with an emphasis in emerging markets. He is a published thought leader and has hosted regular Investor Briefings on his macro-economic outlook and global investment strategy. Paul earned his B.A. in Business Economics from California State University, Long Beach and previously served in the United States Marine Corps. He is a member of the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Society of Los Angeles and the CFA Institute. Paul serves on the Investment Committee for the City of Hope, an independent biomedical research, treatment and education institution, leading the fight to conquer cancer, diabetes, HIV/AIDS and other life-threatening diseases.
Mr. Cherif is the founder of the private debt business at Gulf Capital. He heads the debt platform since he joined Gulf Capital in 2011. Mr. Cherif has more than 22 years of experience in international finance in emerging markets. He has participated in raising more than $600m of commitments for mezzanine and equity funds as well as structuring and executing several junior debt and structured equity transactions on the investment and divestment sides. Before joining Gulf Capital, he was the head of the NBK Capital Mezzanine Fund (a subsidiary of National Bank of Kuwait) where he made several mezzanine investments in companies operating in the Middle East and Turkey. He currently sits on the investment committee of both funds and on the board of several portfolio companies in the Middle East. Prior to joining NBK Capital in 2007, Mr. Cherif spent ten years at the International Finance Corporation (the “IFC”) – The World Bank Group in Washington, D.C., Dubai and Istanbul. Mr. Cherif holds a Master in Business Administration (MBA) in Finance and International Business from George Washington University in the USA, and a Bachelor of Business Administration from the Institut Supérieur de Gestion, University of Tunis III.