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Home / Companies / News /  Former Axis Bank MD Shikha Sharma joins  KKR as adviser

Global private equity giant KKR and Co. on Thursday said former Axis Bank managing director (MD) and chief executive officer (CEO) Shikha Sharma will join the company as an adviser for its alternative credit business on 1 February.

A KKR statement said Sharma will advise its corporate and real estate-focused non-banking financial companies (NBFCs) in India, and will advise on business growth, value-creation opportunities, and strategic mergers and acquisitions, among other areas.

KKR’s alternative credit businesses in India currently have a combined net worth of approximately 4,640 crore.

Sharma’s term at Axis Bank ended in December. Her appointment comes at a time when KKR is looking to expand its credit business and exploring acquisition opportunities, including select portfolios of NBFCs, and entire NBFCs with operating teams.

Mint reported in October that KKR was in talks to acquire a controlling stake in Aadhar Housing Finance Ltd, a unit of Wadhawan Global Capital (WGC), which also controls Dewan Housing Finance Co. Ltd (DHFL). Several NBFCs are expected to put large portions of their assets on the block to tide over their liquidity problem, which has resulted in asset liability mismatches and triggered a re-rating of the NBFC sector.

Prior to Axis Bank, Sharma had a stint in ICICI Prudential Life Insurance Co. as its MD and CEO.

She had also served as the founding MD and CEO of ICICI Personal Financial Services, besides helping establish ICICI Bank’s retail lending business. She was also instrumental in facilitating ICICI Securities’ joint venture with JPMorgan.

“I am very excited that we will be able to benefit from Shikha’s deep expertise and counsel. India is structurally short of long-term capital, and this provides a compelling opportunity for our NBFCs to diversify and scale in many areas, including working with mid-market companies and SMEs," said Sanjay Nayar, member and CEO, KKR India.

“Having built a broader financial services business, Shikha’s experience will help us expand our presence in the financing sector and build on our NBFC’s large equity base to meet the ongoing need for capital in corporate India."

“I look forward to working alongside the team and help them identify further areas of growth and opportunity," Sharma said in the statement.

KKR’s alternative credit business is currently headed by B.V. Krishnan, who Nayar hired in 2009 from Citigroup, where he was the head of structured products for fixed income, currencies, commodities and equity capital markets in India.

Krishnan currently serves as the chief executive of KKR India Financial Services.

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