ADIA Appoints Private Equities Head

The Middle East’s largest institutional investor is building out its private equities capability.

(October 1, 2012) — One of the world’s largest investors in private equities has appointed a veteran in the industry to run the strategy and development of its dedicated “principal investment” portfolio.

The Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA) has brought Colm Lanigan on board as head of principal investments in its private equities department, it announced today.

Lanigan’s role is newly created and sees him with a potential portfolio of up to $50 billion. According to ADIA’s latest annual report, up to 8% of the fund’s portfolio may be given over to private equities – although this allocation includes assets invested through funds, rather than just invested on a “principal” basis. ADIA release no figure on their assets under management, but reports cite the number as being around $625 billion.

He will be based in AbuDhabi and report to Hareb Al Darmaki, executive director of ADIA’s private equities department.

Al Darmaki said: “Colm is a highly experienced private equity investor, with a proven track record across the industry, including in the emerging markets space. He will play an important role in managing our portfolio of existing principal investments, while further developing our strategy in this area.”

Lanigan joins from Tara Capital, a boutique private equity firm that he started in 2005. From 1996 to 2001, Lanigan worked in leveraged finance at Credit Suisse First Boston where he advised companies, as well as private equity and hedge funds, on capital raising and strategic alternatives across multiple industries. He also served as a capital markets advisor for the International Monetary Fund, with a focus on debt market development, interest rate liberalisation, and reserve management in several Asian countries.

In ADIA’s latest annual report, it said the fund had built significant capacity in its private equities and this resource expansion would “continue into 2012 and beyond.”