Mumbai: Harish Manwani, the former chief operating officer (COO) of Unilever Plc, has become global executive adviser to Blackstone Group LP, the private equity (PE) firm said in a statement on Monday.

Manwani will assist and guide selected Blackstone portfolio companies across the world and help in undertaking due diligence for investment opportunities, the company added. He will also guide portfolio operations and advise the management teams of Blackstone’s Indian portfolio companies.

Manwani retired from Unilever in late 2014.

“We are excited about having Harish on board. His 38-year career as a global operator and business leader in one of the world’s largest consumer goods businesses will be immensely valuable to Blackstone’s portfolio companies," David Calhoun, Blackstone’s global head of portfolio operations, said in a statement on Monday. “His wide-ranging general management experience and particular expertise in developing markets will give Blackstone enormous leverage in some of the fastest growing markets in the world."

“I am delighted to be advising Blackstone as a global executive adviser. They are an internationally recognized leader in private equity and I look forward to working closely with the leadership of the portfolio companies to further raising the bar on operational excellence and value creation," Manwani said in the statement.

Manwani is currently non-executive chairman of Hindustan Unilever Ltd.

Blackstone made changes to its top management in India in December 2013, when Akhil Gupta moved to a non-executive role as chairman. The company named its existing managing directors Amit Dixit and Mathew Cyriac as co-heads for its PE operations in the country.

Reuters reported earlier on Monday that Baring Private Equity (Asia) will acquire the 57% stake of Blackstone in CMS Info Systems Ltd, marking a profitable exit for the firm in India.

It hasn’t always been lucky.

One of its investments, in Bengaluru-based Gokaldas Exports Ltd, has fallen 81%. Blackstone acquired majority control in the company by paying 275 apiece for its shares; the shares ended Monday at 52.05.