A key private equity executive at Singapore’s GIC, Amit Kunal, is leaving the organisation to set up his own firm after a decade at the sovereign wealth fund.
Kunal, a managing director of private equity at GIC, leads direct investments in Southeast Asia for the wealth fund.
DealStreetAsia understands that he is expecting to raise up to $750 million for his debut fund.
Kunal’s departure from GIC was first reported by Bloomberg on Tuesday.
According to the Bloomberg report, GIC’s vice president of private equity in Southeast Asia, Choo Koon Po, is also leaving the firm to join Kunal. The Singapore fund confirmed the two departures to Bloomberg.
Kunal joined GIC in 2011 from Bank of America Merrill Lynch, where he was vice president, of investment banking, according to his LinkedIn profile.
Choo joined GIC in 2012, after a two-year stint as an investment banker at Merrill Lynch.
DealStreetAsia has reached out to GIC, Kunal and Choo.
Private equity accounted for 15% of GIC’s portfolio in the year ended March 31, 2021, up from 13% in the previous fiscal, due to “robust deal activity and strong asset performance,” the fund noted in its annual report.
Its PE universe spans buyouts, minority growth, pre-IPO funding, venture capital, private credit and special situations and secondary investments. The fund invests directly as well as through funds.
Its prominent investments in Southeast Asia include Indonesia’s e-major commerce Bukalapak, in which GIC holds an 11% stake; and Vietnamese fintech company VNLIFE.
GIC emerged as the most active state-owned investor globally in 2020 amid unprecedented disruptions to economic activity worldwide. The Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute pegs its assets under management at $545 billion.