Varun Bajpai and Praveen Gupta to lead SBI Macquarie venture

The State Bank of India and Macquarie have appointed Varun Bajpai and Praveen Gupta to senior management positions in their soon-to-be-established India infrastructure fund.

SBI Macquarie Infrastructure Management (SMIM) has appointed Varun Bajpai chief executive officer and Praveen Gupta deputy CEO.

India's largest bank, the State Bank of India, and Australia's Macquarie Capital have jointly set up SMIM, which will manage a domestic fund by the name of SBI Macquarie Infrastructure Trust that is yet to be established. After it is formed, the fund intends to seek registration with India's capital markets regulator, the Securities and Exchange Board of India. The fund will invest in infrastructure projects and companies.

Bajpai is currently a senior managing director at Macquarie Capital. He was earlier the head of the corporate advisory team for Macquarie Capital in India and is responsible for growing that business over the past five years. He has 12 years of experience in the financial services industry in India and earlier worked with Deutsche Bank and Kotak Mahindra.

Gupta joins SMIM from SBI where he is a general manager with more than 25 years of banking experience. He was earlier regional head and CEO of SBI's Bahrain office, responsible for building the bank's Middle East business.

SBI and Macquarie recently launched the Macquarie SBI Infrastructure Fund (MSIF), which raised $887 million of external funding. Including $150 million committed by SBI, the fund has assets under management of $1.04 billion. International Finance Corporation is a minority shareholder and a cornerstone investor in MSIF. The partners' intention is for SBI Macquarie Infrastructure Trust and MSIF to co-invest in infrastructure projects.  

In August Macquarie teamed up with China Everbright to form an asset management joint venture that will invest in core infrastructure in China, Hong Kong and Taiwan. 

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