Rajeev Misra, a key aide of SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son, is stepping down from an executive role at the Japanese conglomerate’s Vision Fund 2 as he prepares to launch a new fund, sources close to the development told Business Today.
Son will take up the chief executive role at SoftBank Global Advisers, the entity that manages the $55 billion Vision fund 2 while Misra will remain as a Vice Chairman. Vision fund 2 is fully self-financed by SoftBank.
The move is agreed between Son and Misra to avoid any potential conflict of interest in the future as Misra’s upcoming investment vehicle is likely to get backing from funds from Middle East, some of whom are sponsors of Vision Fund 1. It is also possible that his fund, which will take at least a year to begin operations, may co-invest with SoftBank in the future.
Misra will remain as the CEO of Vision Fund 1, managed by SoftBank Investment Advisers. Nearly 80 per cent the Vision Fund 1 is contributed by outside investors including Middle Eastern sovereign wealth funds.
“He (Misra) is moving from an executive role to a non-executive role in the second fund only. To avoid any potential conflict being the CEO of Vision Fund 1 which is Masa’s only money, both of them agreed to do this rejig. Rajeev’s new fund could potentially co-invest with SoftBank,” a person aware of the developments at SoftBank said.
The India team and its investment approach will remain the same across both the funds. SoftBank recently announced it will scale down its investments in FY23 and for the next fiscal. The announcement comes on the heels of SoftBank posting a record $13 billion annual loss in FY22 with some of its major portfolio companies, which listed in public markets, seeing a significant drag. Son said that the investment giant is right now “on a defense mode” and will adopt a stricter investment criterion going forward.
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