Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Pachuri, acting and Actis

Posted by Devil's Kitchen at 12/30/2009 01:24:00 am

EUReferendum continues its unravelling of millionaire businessman and IPCC director Rajendra K Pachuri's labyrinthine and extensive network of influence.

Today Richard has focused on Pachuri's TERI-Europe—a registered charity with an expenditure that far outstrips its incoming resources. The company secretary is a certain Dr Ritu Kumar—herself a woman with, it seems, considerable business interests in her own right. In particular, I was interested by this paragraph...
But this cv also has Dr Kumar as a senior adviser on environmental, social and governance issues with Actis UK—a private equity firm investing primarily in Africa, China, India, Latin America, South and South East Asia - where "she has advised on weaknesses and opportunities in health and safety, as well as environmental, social and business integrity since 2006." The company handles $7.3 billion in and has over 100 investment professionals in nine offices worldwide.

Thus far then, with a great deal more to cover in what becomes an increasingly murky story, we have a charity which is a company wholly owned by Dr Pachauri and Dr Kumar, the latter who not only works for TERI-Europe but also for a government-funded NGO, the Commonwealth Secretariat and a private equity company handling billions in investment funds.

Anyone who is a regular reader of Private Eye will be familiar with Actis, a firm set up by the Commonwealth Development Corporation (CDC)—whose directors were then allowed to buy the firm for a ludicrously small sum of money.

Due to Private Eye's frankly irritating lack of engagement with the online community, I am unable to find anything useful on that magazine's website; as such, I shall turn to blogger Slimy Bastards to summarise the gist of the CDC/Actis story.
In 2004, the then Development Secretary Hilary Benn carved out the fund management operation from the government-owned develpment fund CDC. The fund's function is to invest UK aid in companies in developing countries. The private equity firm created to do this, Actis, was set up in swanky riverside offices using £5m of public money while 60% of the new "limited liability partnership" was sold for £373,000 to former CDC managers, led by Paul Fletcher. One hell of a good price for managing £1bn of state funds without facing any competition whatsoever.

Fletcher and his pals quickly recouped their outlay. Actis reported profits of $14m in the first year, and that was after accounting for its 192 employees being paid an average of $220,000 each and senior partner Fletcher pocketing $1.84m. Actis will tell you that the government is entitled to 80% of their profits but that arrangement ends in 2009. Furthermore, in a recent public accounts committee report, Fletcher and Co's share (bought for £393,000 remember) was valued at over £200m, and possibly as much as £600m.

So why was Actis sold for so little when it was quite obviously worth so much more? Private Eye has asked to see the calculations that led to the 2004 valuation of £393,000 and how much the still publicly-owned CDC pays Actis to manage the fund. However, the Department for International Development's Openness Unit (an oxymoron if ever there was) and the Shareholder Executive have both refused to release any details. The DfID claimed the valuation calculation was "commercially sensitive" and revealing it was not in the public interest. They did reveal however, that "the calculations were undertaken by KPMG Corporate Finance Consultants, appointed by CDC Group plc to provide an objective opinion."

OK, so that's the same CDC Group who's chief executive Paul Fletcher and other senior managers would be the buyers of the new company. Conflict of interest?

Er... Yes. Here's Politaholic with another quick summary—just to prove that I am not making this stuff up.
Then, in Private Eye it is reported that the previously government owned Commonwealth Development Corporation (CDC) - which invests UK aid in firms in developing countries - has been sold off to a company called Actis (created by former CDC managers!). They picked up the deal for £373,000 (which, says Private Eye, was "a bargain price for managing, without facing any competition, £1 billion of state funds"). In the following year Actis reported profits of £14 million ("..and that was after the firms 192 employees had been paid an average of $220,000; the senior partner Paul Fletcher "trousered" $1.8 million). This is taxpayers money. And that's just the tip of the iceberg. The company is worth more than £200 million and possibly as much as £800 million: "In two years the 20 or so partners in Actis have seen their money grow by at least 5000%...". Surely this is something the Serious fraud Office should be investigating? It strikes me as a lot more serious than "cash-for-peerages". The Minister responsible was nice guy Hilary Benn.

Indeed: he's a crook if ever there was one—always beware of the "nice guys". You can have that advice for free, by the way.

Incidentally, CDC lists itself, in the footer of its website, as a member of European Development Finance Institutions which, in turn, describes itself thusly:
EDFI is the Association of European Development Finance Institutions, a group of 16 bilateral institutions which provide long-term finance for private sector enterprises in developing and reforming economies. Since its foundation in Brussels in 1992, EDFI's mission has been to foster co-operation among its members and to strengthen links with institutions of the European Union.

EDFI is based in Luxembourg (where else?), and funding for the EDFI is provided by its members and, in large part, by the European Investment Bank—this last has provided at least €100 million since May 2009.
In May 2009, EFP was replenished with €230 mln, €100 mln provided by the EIB and €130 by the EDFI members.

Under its previous mandate which expired in April 2009, EFP has approved financing to 25 projects in 11 ACP countries for a total amount of €280 mln. in the following sectors: Agribusiness, Banking, Communication, Health, Hotels, Housing, Industry, Infrastructure, Power and Air Transport.

Interesting stuff, wouldn't you say?

Of course, the European Investment Bank does good work all over the world, including approving finance to the tune of €150,000,000 (£135,402,142) [PDF] for the IREDA Renewable Energy Framework Loan.

IREDA is the Indian Renewable Energy Department Agency Ltd.
IREDA is a Public Limited Government Company established in 1987, under the administrative control of Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) to promote, develop and extend financial assistance for renewable energy and energy efficiency/conservation projects with the motto : " ENERGY FOR EVER "

Indeed. A quick search of the MNRE website shows that the Ministry works closely with TERI (and a search of TERI's site reveals reciprocal links). TERI is, of course, otherwise known as The Energy and Resources Institute—the director of which is millionaire businessman, Rajendra K Pachuri.

The link is a little tenuous, I'll admit, but took less than ten minutes of derisory 'net searching to establish—maybe Richard can do better. On the face of it, however, it does seem that all roads (not to mention millions of Euros) do lead to millionaire businessman Rajendra K Pachuri...

Labels: , , , ,

Posted by Devil's Kitchen at 12/30/2009 01:24:00 am

19 Blogger Comments:

Blogger Richard said...

Brilliant stuff ... don't you just love the internet!

12/30/2009 02:40:00 am  
Blogger Tomrat said...

As I recall a similar scam was carried out with the Qinetica sale in which those in charge of the original DSTL became millionaires in one year.

Why hasn't this become a bigger scandal? The servants have been selling our silverware and putting up our spare rooms up for lodgers! Why are heads not on poles?

12/30/2009 09:47:00 am  
Blogger James Higham said...

I don't think the link is tenuous at all and well done. It is the very tenuousness which gives it its verisimilitude because it is the "director twice removed" method which is how they get away with it - Veronique Morales is a good example [former Tesco].

12/30/2009 09:49:00 am  
Blogger Kaboom said...

Hey, you guys would probably know, being internet geeks and all that....

Would it be possible for Dr R.K. Pachuri to sue me for defamation, if I stated on my humble blog that he was a lying, cheating, self-interested, insider-trading, scumbag criminal fraudulent cunt of an arsehole?

Not that I have any intention to do so, of course, this is merely a rhetorical question, and quite probably protected by legal professional privilege.

Your advices would be appreciated, and thank you once again RAEN and DK for your tireless efforts against these monstrous attacks upon our way of life.

Cheers and best of luck, Kaboom.

12/30/2009 11:36:00 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

More Actis here:

12/30/2009 12:01:00 pm  
Anonymous CountingCats said...


Some one may wish to correct me here, but it is my understanding that if you were to make the statement that the good Doctor is what you question then you do lay yourself open to litigation. However, it is also my understanding that if you were to say "It is my belief that Dr R. K. is ........." then you are fine. After all, it is incontestably true that that is your opinion, and you are not stating your opinion as fact.

12/30/2009 12:07:00 pm  
Blogger Prodicus said...

You can't be sued for a mere opinion: de gustibus non disputandum. Opine away.

I think I'd probably leave out riskier specifics like insider trading and criminal (he hasn't been convicted yet) but lying, cheating, self-interested, scumbag, fraudulent and cunt are obviously fine, being based entirely on facts in the public domain.

12/30/2009 12:07:00 pm  
Anonymous CountingCats said...

Even under British defamation laws you can say anything you wish, just be careful how you phrase it.

12/30/2009 12:08:00 pm  
Blogger John Trenchard said...

that actis domain...

dot is is the country domain for Iceland.

12/30/2009 12:29:00 pm  
Blogger John Trenchard said...

Here is another link for you Mr Devil:

Actis entry on

Actis comes under the remit of this "Shareholder Executive"

The businesses this State body has involvement with are listed here - combined turnover of £21 billon.

Amongst the usual suspects (BNFL, Royal Mail etc) there is another company that has a similar remit to Actis:

"CDC‘s objective is to invest in the creation and growth of viable private businesses in poorer developing countries"

This was formed in 1948, and now acts as a sovereign wealth fund: "CDC is now a fund-of-funds investment company, whose funds predominantly make equity investments in the poorer countries of the developing world"

2007 turnover: £629 million
operating profit: £621 million

With such a large amount of money sloshing around, it would be interesting to start digging on CDC and find out what exactly they are "investing" in...

12/30/2009 12:40:00 pm  
Blogger John Trenchard said...

The CDC - "where we invest"

Note that new "targets" for investment were issued in 2009 by the DFID which includes:

"CDC will make more than 75% of new investments in low-income countries "

Note on the map how India is deemed "low income"

The CDC's list of fund managers is interesting - Actis are listed as a global manager of CDC funds:

List of fund managers

There is also a listing of Indian and Chinese fund managers on that page.

If you dig around , you end up on pages like this one:

Sainik Mining, India - which is a coal mining operation, which strip mines for coal rather than drilling or tunnelling (as that would be "unsustainable" - you really cant make this up...)

12/30/2009 12:51:00 pm  
Blogger John Trenchard said...

hmmm... this is interesting.. Sainik Mining as linked above:

Indian company to exploit Ethiopian 160 MT potash deposit

Lets cut to the chase here - under the guise of eco-friendly "sustainable development", British money is being funnelled through Indian mining companies to exploit third world resources, thus bypassing any restrictions , such as labour laws, that would be imposed on British companies.

Therefore, facades like "fair trade" or "sustainable development" beloved of the Geldofs and Bono's of this world, are mere charades, much like global warming hysteria.

Or am i being too cynical?

12/30/2009 01:30:00 pm  
Anonymous thefrollickingmole said...

My emails on the blink, so sorry if this is off topic. Your ex_PM Blair has written an article for Australias national newspaper

It begging to be fisked as he spouts off about "governing for the long term/conviction pollitican" and other crap.

12/30/2009 01:39:00 pm  
Blogger ukipwebmaster said...

Happy new year to you all:

12/30/2009 02:09:00 pm  
Blogger thespecialone said...

If the Tories had been involved in this like good guy Benn, the BBC would be all over it. Funny how they are not.

12/30/2009 06:51:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Private Eye, earlier this year: "WHILE the European commission and big member states like France and Germany plan to crack down on tax havens (while Britain pretends to), the EU's house bank, the European Investment Bank (EIB), is busily lending to companies established in... tax havens.

In some cases, senior EIB officials sit on the boards of those self-same tax haven-registered companies. Particularly notable is EIB lending for supposed development projects in poor countries. In reality, this "development assistance" is a scam under which low-cost public capital is channeled to private equity firms that look for projects with juicy returns of 20 percent or more, before remitting the proceeds to low or no-tax and minimum transparency jurisdictions such as Mauritius.

This will come as no surprise to Eye readers who have followed the CDC/Actis scandal. Indeed, Britain's CDC Group, formerly the Commonwealth Development Corporation. is both a beneficiary of the EIB's largesse, and a lender to many of those same tax dodgers.

For example, in June the EIB agreed a $15m loan to Shorecap International Limited, a private equity outfit specialising in microfinance, in which CDC also invests. Cyrille Arnould, the EIB's head of microfinance, is one of Shorecap's directors. The firm, which boasted in its 2007 report of an average 23 percent rate of return, is incorporated in the Cayman Islands.

Arnould is also on the board of Africap, a Mauritius-based investment company, which received €5m from the EIB in 2007. Mauritius, a tiny Indian Ocean island with 103m people, is a favourite haunt of so-called development funds, including Adlevo Capital, Africinvest Limited, GroFin and Leapfrog Investments. These firms alone have shared €65m of EIB money in the last 12 months. Mauritius is the source of an extraordinary 44 percent of foreign investment in India underlining the extent to which development assistance has in fact become a tax avoidance scam.

During 2008 the ElB also agreed loans totalling €53m for funds run by Aureos Capital Limited, also Mauritius-registered. Until it was sold to its managers at a knock-down price (see Eye 1240), Aureos was a joint venture between CDC and Norway's development fund Norfund, which has imitated CDC's tax haven strategy. The difference between CDC and Norfund, however, is that the Norwegian government has now told Norfund to stop investing in tax havens. Counter Balance, a campaign group that has analysed EIB lending to tax dodgers, noted that Norway finally came round to following "the logic that development funds should not support tax evasion". When will Britain, and the EIB, do the same?"

12/30/2009 07:30:00 pm  
Blogger Dabble said...

a tad off topic, but Actis's immediate neighbours at More London Riverside are these guys: Climate Change Capital - who are: "an investment manager and advisor specialising in the opportunities generated by the global transition to the low carbon economy".

12/30/2009 08:37:00 pm  
Anonymous DennisA said...

Not much OT Dabble:

Andrew Aldridge is a Director in the Carbon Finance team, where he is responsible for the development of the renewable energy and energy efficiency portfolio.

Before joining CCC, he founded EM Energy Solutions, a boutique consultancy providing project development and investment management advice to private equity funds operating in Europe, Middle East and China.

Prior to this, Andrew was a director at Actis (formerly CDC Capital Partners), an emerging market private equity fund with US$1.5 billion under management, where he managed a US$350m portfolio of investments in energy and utility companies. Andrew is a chartered accountant and graduated with a BSc(Hons) in Physics from Imperial College, London.

12/30/2009 09:34:00 pm  
Anonymous Roy Stirred-Oyster said...

Richard North is being leant on:

Spread the word.

12/31/2009 07:34:00 pm  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home


Previous Posts



  • "The best British political/libertarian blog on the web. Consistently excellent but not for the squeamish."—Christopher Snowdon
  • "[He] runs the infamous and fantastically sweary Devil’s Kitchen blog, and because he’s one of the naughtiest geeks (second only to the incredibly, incredibly naughty Guido Fawkes) he’s right at the top of the evil dork hierarchy."—Charlotte Gore
  • "I met the Devil's Kitchen the other night. What a charming young man he is, and considerably modest too..."—Peter Briffa
  • "The Devil's Kitchen exposes hypocrisy everywhere, no holds barred."—Wrinkled Weasel
  • "People can still be controversial and influential whilst retaining integrity—Devil's Kitchen springs to mind—and attract frequent but intelligent comment."—Steve Shark, at B&D
  • "Sometimes too much, sometimes wrong, sometimes just too much but always worth a read. Not so much a blog as a force of nature."—The Nameless Libertarian
  • "The Devil's Kitchen—a terrifying blog that covers an astonishing range of subjects with an informed passion and a rage against the machine that leaves me in awe..."—Polaris
  • "He rants like no one else in the blogosphere. But it's ranting in an eloquent, if sweary, kind of way. Eton taught him a lot."—Iain Dale
  • "But for all that, he is a brilliant writer—incisive, fisker- extraordinaire and with an over developed sense of humour... And he can back up his sometimes extraordinary views with some good old fashioned intellectual rigour... I'm promoting him on my blogroll to a daily read."—Iain Dale
  • "... an intelligent guy and a brilliant writer..."—A Very British Dude
  • "... the glorious Devil's Kitchen blog—it's not for the squeamish or easily offended..."—Samizdata
  • "... a very, smart article... takes a pretty firm libertarian line on the matter."—Samizdata
  • "By the way, DK seems to be on fucking good form at the moment."—Brian Mickelthwait
  • "Perhaps the best paragraph ever written in the history of human creation. It's our Devil on fine form."—Vindico
  • "Devil's Kitchen is the big name on the free-market libertarian strand of the British blogosphere... Profane rants are the immediate stand-out feature of DK's blog, but the ranting is backed up by some formidable argument on a wide range of issues particularly relating to British and European parliamentary politics, economics, and civil liberties."—Question That
  • "... an excellent, intelligent UK political blog which includes a great deal of swearing."—Dr Aubrey Blumsohn
  • "I like the Devil's Kitchen. I think it's one of the best written and funniest blogs in the business."—Conservative Party Reptile
  • "The. Top. UK. Blogger."—My Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy
  • "For sheer intelligence, erudition and fun, Iain Dale's Diary, Cranmer and Devil's Kitchen are so far ahead of the rest I don't see how they can figure in a top ten. They are the Beatles, Stones and Who of the blog world; the Astair, Bogart and Marlon Brando of the blog world; the Gerswin, Porter and Novello of the blog world; the Dot Cotton, Pat Butcher, Bette Lynch of the blog world..."—Wrinkled Weasel
  • "It's the blogging equivalent of someone eating Ostrich Vindaloo, washed down by ten bottles of Jamaican hot pepper sauce and then proceeding to breathe very close to your face while talking about how lovely our politicians are... But there's much more to his writing than four letter words."—Tom Tyler
  • "God bless the Devil's Kitchen... Colourful as his invective is, I cannot fault his accuracy."—Tom Paine
  • "The Devil's Kitchen is a life-affirming, life-enhancing blog ... This particular post will also lead you to some of the best soldiers in the army of swearbloggers of which he is Field Marshal."—The Last Ditch
  • "... underneath all the ranting and swearing [DK]'s a very intelligent and thoughtful writer whom many people ... take seriously, despite disagreeing with much of what he says."—Not Saussure
  • "... the most foul-mouthed of bloggers, Devils Kitchen, was always likely to provoke (sometimes disgust, but more often admiration)."—The Times Online
  • "The always entertaining Mr Devil's Kitchen..."—The Times's Comment Central
  • "Frankly, this is ranting of the very highest calibre."—The Nameless Libertarian
  • "I don't mean it literally, or even metaphorically. I just find that his atheism aside, I agree with everything the Devil (of Kitchen fame...) says. I particularly enjoy his well crafted and sharp swearing, especially when addressed at self righteous lefties..."—The Tin Drummer
  • "Spot on accurate and delightful in its simplicity, Devil's Kitchen is one of the reasons that we're not ready to write off EUroweenie-land just yet. At least not until we get done evacuating the ones with brains."—Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler
  • "This hugely entertaining, articulate, witty Scottish commentator is also one of the most foul-mouthed bloggers around. Gird up your loins and have a look. Essential reading."—Doctor Crippen
  • "The Devil's Kitchen is one of the foremost blogs in the UK. The DK is bawdy, foul-mouthed, tasteless, vulgar, offensive and frequently goes beyond all boundaries of taste and decency. So why on earth does Dr Crippen read the DK? Because he reduces me to a state of quivering, helpless laughter."—Doctor Crippen's Grand Rounds
  • "DK is a take-no-prisoners sort of libertarian. His blog is renowned for its propensity for foul-mouthed invective, which can be both amusing and tiresome by turns. Nevertheless, he is usually lucid, often scintillating and sometimes illuminating."—Dr Syn
  • "If you enjoy a superior anti-Left rant, albeit one with a heavy dash of cursing, you could do worse than visit the Devil's Kitchen. The Devil is an astute observer of the evils of NuLabour, that's for sure. I for one stand converted to the Devil and all his works."—Istanbul Tory
  • "... a sick individual."—Peter Briffa
  • "This fellow is sharp as a tack, funny as hell, and—when something pisses him off—meaner than a badger with a case of the bullhead clap."—Green Hell
  • "Foul-mouthed eloquence of the highest standard. In bad taste, offensive, immoderate and slanderous. F***ing brilliant!—Guest, No2ID Forum
  • "a powerfully written right-of-center blog..."—Mangan's Miscellany
  • "I tend to enjoy Devil's Kitchen not only because I disagree with him quite a lot of the time but because I actually have to use my brain to articulate why."—Rhetorically Speaking
  • "This blog is currently slamming. Politics certainly ain't all my own. But style and prose is tight, fierce, provocative. And funny. OK, I am a child—swear words still crack a laugh."—Qwan
  • "hedonistic, abrasive but usually good-natured..."—The G-Gnome
  • "10,000 words per hour blogging output... prolific or obsessive compulsive I have yet to decide..."—Europhobia
  • "a more favoured blog from the sensible Right..."—Great Britain...
  • "Devils Kitchen, a right thinking man indeed..."—EU Serf
  • "an excellent blog..."—Rottweiler Puppy
  • "Anyone can cuss. But to curse in an imaginative fashion takes work."—Liftport Staff Blog
  • "The Devil's Kitchen: really very funny political blog."—Ink & Incapability
  • "I've been laffing fit to burst at the unashamed sweariness of the Devil's Kitchen ~ certainly my favourite place recently."—SoupDragon
  • "You can't beat the writing and general I-may-not-know-about-being-polite-but-I-know-what-I-like attitude."—SoupDragon
  • "Best. Fisking. Ever. I'm still laughing."—LC Wes, Imperial Mohel
  • "Art."—Bob
  • "It made me laugh out loud, and laugh so hard—and I don't even get all the references... I hope his politics don't offend you, but he is very funny."—Furious, WoT Forum
  • "DK himself is unashamedly right-wing, vitriolic and foul mouthed, liberally scattering his posts with four-letter-words... Not to be read if you're easily offended, but highly entertaining and very much tongue in cheek..."—Everything Is Electric
  • "This blog is absolutely wasted here and should be on the front page of one of the broadsheets..."—Commenter at The Kitchen
  • "[This Labour government] is the most mendacious, dishonest, endemically corrupt, power-hungry, incompetent, illiberal fucking shower of shits that has ruled this country..."—DK


Campaign Links

All: Daily Reads (in no particular order)

Politics (in no particular order)

Climate Change (in no particular order)

General & Humour (in no particular order)

Mac,Design Tech & IT (in no particular order)