Gupta Steps Back From Private Equity Firm

Mar 11 2011 | 12:40pm ET

Rajat Gupta, the former head of consulting giant McKinsey & Co. and alleged Raj Rajaratnam tipster, is taking a leave of absence from the private equity firm he co-founded with the former Galleon Group chief.

New York-based New Silk Route Partners said Gupta made the move to "avoid any distraction and ensure New Silk Route's continued focus on the execution of its investment strategy." The $1.4 billion firm hastened to add that "the matters involving Mr. Gupta have nothing to do with New Silk Route or any of our portfolio companies."

Gupta has been charged by the Securities and Exchange Commission with passing confidential information to Rajaratnam, a long-time friend, about Goldman Sachs and Procter & Gamble, two companies on whose boards he sat. He is expected to testify for the defense at Rajaratnam's insider-trading trial; his lawyer has repeatedly said that Gupta has done nothing wrong and will be vindicated.

Gupta and Rajaratnam co-founded New Silk Route, then called Taj Capital, in 2006. While Rajaratnam cut ties with the firm after it decided not to launch a hedge fund, Gupta has remained its chairman.

New Silk focuses of South Asian investments, and has three offices in India.

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