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Apax hires Helios exec to launch impact strategy

The European firm looks set to join its large buyout peers in establishing a fund line that will seek both financial returns and a positive societal or environmental impact.

Apax Partners, the 42nd-largest private equity firm in the world according to PEI, has hired Alykhan Nathoo, a 10-year partner at Helios Investment Partners, to co-lead a new impact strategy.

Nathoo will take up his post at Apax in May, he said in an email to contacts, and will co-head a new global impact fund that the mega-firm will seek to raise. Details of the strategy are as yet unknown.

Nathoo has, since 2010, been at Africa-focused Helios, where he is a partner and member of the firm’s executive and investment committees. Helios is one of a handful of private equity firms that have received B Corp certification. It is also a member of the Global Impact Investing Network and a signatory to the UN Principles of Responsible Investment. Before joining Helios, Nathoo was a senior principal at Bain Capital.

Apax, a European stalwart of private equity, has expanded beyond its its flagship buyout fund programme – it has just raised $11 billion for Fund X – into digital-focused growth investments. It is currently raising its second Apax Digital fund with a target of $1.5 billion.

As and when Apax launches an impact fund, it will join a raft of established buyout and multi-strategy firms to raise capital or build teams to focus on the burgeoning strategy.

Apollo, for example, intends to apply impact principles to later-stage businesses, moving impact beyond venture and growth assets towards buyouts, carve-outs and platform build-ups. Brookfield Asset Management believes it could be managing up to $100 billion in impact capital “in the medium term”. Bain Capital, TPG, Partners Group and others have all mobilised capital at scale.

Apax Partners delined to comment. Helios and Nathoo did not respond for requests to comment.

Further reading: Who gets to wear the impact label?