Modi to meet top insurance, pension, PE fund managers in New York

  • Shishir Gupta and Gaurav Choudhury, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Sep 24, 2015 01:01 IST

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will meet a select group of the world’s biggest fund managers on September 24 in New York to get India the much-needed investment boost, and offer Indians wider choices in insurance and pension sectors.

The Prime Minister will look to encourage the 10 financial sector CEOs and leaders of iconic venture funds, private equity firms, insurance and pension funds — who together control trillions of dollars among themselves — to keep investments coming into India, particularly in infrastructure.

JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon, Blackstone’s chairman and CEO Steve Schwarzman, Warburg Pincus’s co-CEO Charles Kaye, KKR’s co-chairman Henry Kravis, Tiger Global’s co-founder and managing partner Chase Coleman, General Atlantic’s CEO Bill Ford, ACE Limited CEO Evan Greenberg, NY State Common Retirement Fund’s chief investment
officer Vicki Fuller and AIG Insurance CEO Peter Hancock are among those expected to meet Modi, sources, who did not wish to be identified, told HT.

The meeting comes at a time when concerns are growing over China’s growth story, which many in New Delhi, including senior government officials, see as an opportunity for India to emerge as the world’s favourite investment destination and manufacturing hub.

Modi, on his second state visit to the US in as many years, will also hold one-on-ones with Lockheed Martin chairman Marillyn Hewson, IBM’s Ginni Rometty and MasterCard’s president and CEO Ajay Banga. Hewson is likely to discuss the manufacture of F-16 multi-role fighter aircraft in India, sources said.

These meetings will be held ahead of a dinner meeting with CEOs of top Fortune 500 companies on the same day.

Pension funds and insurance firms have helped jump-start infrastructure investment in several countries, including Australia, Canada, Mexico and Chile. Public-private partnership models have been employed extensively in infrastructure in France, the UK, and Brazil among others.

Though Modi, who rode to power on the promise of turning India into an economic powerhouse, opened insurance and pension sectors by allowing 49% foreign direct investment, investor response is yet to match expectations and that is what he would look to plug-in in New York.

Foreign pension funds have shown interest in parking funds in long-term bonds in India, provided these come with some kind of a government guarantee.
Building India’s creaky infrastructure, identified as one of the biggest hurdles in the country’s growth story, would require an estimated $1 trillion (about Rs 65 lakh crore) over the next five years.

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