CDC expands with four appointments

Four directors have been appointed at UK government-backed emerging markets fund of funds CDC, as the business continues to diversify its investment activities.

CDC, the UK Government-backed emerging market fund of funds, has made three appointments and an internal promotion, as it looks to expand its activities in Asia and diversify into alternative investment areas like microfinance.

Anubha Shrivastava and Veronica John have both been appointed as Asian portfolio directors, CDC said in a statement. The group has also promoted Anne Marie Byworth, formerly Asian portfolio director, into a more general role as director of private equity, and recruited Hywel Rees-Jones as an investments director.

The appointments signal a two-fold drive to expand in Asia and increase CDC’s investment in countries where there is little or no private equity activity, according to a company spokesperson.

John, who will take responsibility for CDC’s entire fund of funds portfolio across Asia and the CIS, previously worked for the Asian Development Bank, where she headed the private equity investment funds team. She has had 15 years’ experience in the region.

Shrivastava will take on responsibility for South and South East Asia. She previously worked for investment firm Performance Equity Management, and before this at Hambrecht and Quist, a private equity group focused on healthcare and biotechnology.

CDC recently committed $100 million (€72 million) to two China funds, with $75 million allocated to CDH Fund III, the largest ever fund to invest in the country, and $25 million to CITIC Capital Partners. The investments mean it now has $300 million allocated to the country.

Hywel Rees-Jones was previously head of West Africa for Actis, the emerging markets private equity firm which split from CDC in 2001, and has also previously worked at CDC. Rees-Jones takes on responsibility for CDC’s co-investment programme, global sector funds and microfinance across all of its core geographies. He will also examine ways to deploy secondaries or debt funds in areas where private equity style transactions are not appropriate.

Last month the UK government appointed US investment bank Morgan Stanley to consider strategic options for CDC. It is reportedly considering selling its 100 percent stake in the company for around £2 billion ($4 billion, €3 billion) via either a flotation or a private sale, according to UK newspaper the Times.