Mumbai: Leo Puri, the high-profile director of consulting firm McKinsey & Co., has quit.
And he is moving to Warburg Pincus Pvt Ltd, one of India’s largest and most successful private equity (PE) companies, as a managing director, said sources close to the development, who did not wish to be identified. Warburg’s London-based corporate communications division did not confirm the development.
Puri did not comment on his move, but in response to a query from Mint, McKinsey confirmed that he had quit.
In its response, the firm also said it was “delighted to have the opportunity to provide the Indian financial sector with leaders who can fuel growth”.
Puri had spent more than a decade at the company, working on assignments for some of the country’s best-known banks and financial services companies.
The sources said Puri could be a replacement for Pulak Prasad, a managing director at Warburg Pincus, who quit in October 2006. Prasad was one of the firm’s two managing directors—the other is Rajesh Khanna.
Prasad was instrumental in Warburg investing Rs1,300 crore for a 18% stake in Bharti Tele-Ventures (now Bharti Airtel) in 1999.
Warburg exited the Bharti investment in 2005 for Rs8,000 crore. This remains the largest profit made on a PE investment in India and set off a boom in the PE business in the country.
According to Venture Intelligence, an industry newsletter, foreign PE investments in Indian companies more than doubled to $5.4 billion (Rs24,300 crore then), in the first nine months of 2006, up from $2.2 billion in 2005.
Warburg’s current investments in India are worth more than $1 billion and its portfolio includes companies such as health care and insurance provider Max India Ltd, cement major Gujarat Ambuja, pharmaceutical firm Nicholas Piramal, CD-maker Moser Baer, portal Rediff.com and business process outsourcing firm WNS Global Services.
The response from McKinsey also said that “given the scorching pace at which the Indian economy is growing, it is only natural that some of our colleagues will take up leadership assignments in the industry”.