By Kane Wu, Julie Zhu and Xie Yu
HONG KONG, Sept 18 (Reuters) - Hillhouse Investment, founded by Chinese dealmaker Lei Zhang, has made a number of senior hires for its new private credit team, three people with knowledge of the matter said.
The hires come amid an Asian boom in private credit funds looking to tap into demand mainly from startups that are moving away from raising equity capital given global economic and market challenges.
Among the hires, Srinivasulu Yanamandra, most recently a Barclays managing director and its head of loans, leverage finance and structured finance in North Asia, this month joined Hillhouse's private credit team based in Singapore, one of the people said.
Sandeep Chandak is also set to join Hillhouse in coming months from U.S.-headquartered investment firm Varde Partners where he is a senior managing director, the people said. Chandak's LinkedIn profile shows he has been based in Singapore.
Hillhouse and Varde did not respond to requests for comment. Yanamandra and Chandak could not immediately be reached for comment via LinkedIn. Barclays declined to comment beyond confirming Yanamandra has worked for the bank.
The sources declined to be identified as they were not authorised to speak to the media.
Yanamandra and Chandak join Siddhartha Hari, previously Deutsche Bank's head of financing for North Asia & Pacific, who started as Hillhouse's co-head of private credit in June, according to his LinkedIn profile.
Private credit funds targeting Asia jumped 76% last year to a record $11.2 billion, driven by both regional and India-dedicated strategies, according to Global Private Capital Association.
More than $5 billion in new private credit funds have been launched or planned this year in a handful of Asian markets, according Reuters calculations based on reported fundraising and funds interviewed.
Hillhouse, long established in hedge fund and private equity investments, joins global and regional peers such as Apollo Global Management, KKR & Co and Primavera Capital Group in the private credit space.
The firm also has a Beijing-based private credit team targeting onshore Chinese opportunities, said two of the people. (Reporting by Kane Wu, Julie Zhu and Xie Yu; additional reporting by Yantoultra Ngui in Singapore; Editing by Kirsten Donovan)