Warburg Pincus hires for Indian push

Warburg Pincus, one of the most experienced Asian private equity investors, has strengthened its regional team with the hire of ex-McKinsey director Leo Puri.

Warburg Pincus, a US-based private equity firm that has been investing in India for more than 10 years, has made a senior hire into its Asian team as it looks to target buyout opportunities in the booming financial services sector.

Warburg Pincus has recruited Leo Puri, the former co-head of consultant McKinsey’s financial services practice in India. He will be tasked with expanding the firm’s financial services investment activity across various markets in Asia, with a particular focus on building its business in India. The buyout firm wants to put about a billion dollars to work in the country over the next few years.

While at McKinsey, Puri specialised in advising financial services institutions, including banks and asset managers, and can count many of India’s leading corporations as former clients. After attending university in the UK – he has degrees from both Oxford and Cambridge – he began his career in Europe and the US, before moving to India to focus on Asia and the Middle East.

His expertise in advising companies on growth issues and restructuring problems was clearly an attraction for the buyout firm, which prides itself on working closely with its portfolio companies.

Puri will start his Warburg Pincus career in New York before moving to a permanent base in Mumbai.

Warburg Pincus has been investing in India for more than ten years, and has previously backed the likes of Kotak Mahindra bank and conglomerate Max India. It has invested $1.4bn in India to date, and expects to double this amount in the next few years.   

As well as Mumbai, the firm also has three other Asian offices: in Beijing, Shanghai and Tokyo. The firm has about $15 billion under management worldwide.