Mr. Hutheesing is an Indian American, i.e. American Jain of Indian origin. He was born in Mumbai, India into a very well known Hutheesing family. His mother, Krishna Nehru Hutheesing, a well-known author, was the sister of India’s first Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru. His father, Gunnotam Hutheesing, was part of one of the larger industrial families in India, the Lalbhai Group; he served India as a politician, journalist and businessman. Ajit Hutheesing has three sons, Nikhil Hutheesing, Vivek Hutheesing, and Ravi Hutheesing. Nikhil and his wife, Anita Khosla, have two sons, Kirin Hutheesing and Remy Hutheesing. Vivek is married to Anjali Kalgutkar and they have one daughter, Mirai Hutheesing.
Ajit was educated at Cambridge University in England where he received his bachelor's degree in chemistry, physics, metallurgy and mathematics and his master's degree in chemical engineering. He received his MBA from Columbia University in New York.
Ajit was one of the first Indians in Wall Street when he started his investment banking career in 1960 with Loeb, Rhoades & Co. In 1962, he joined S.G. Warburg & Company in London as part of his investment banking training. He returned to India in 1963 to start the first investment bank but when his cousin, Indira Gandhi, became Prime Minister and started nationalizing banks and insurance companies, he decided to leave India.
Following the advice and introduction of Sir Siegmund Warburg, Chairman of S.G. Warburg & Company, he joined the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private sector investment banking arm of the World Bank in 1965. He spent 10 years at IFC during most of which he headed IFC’s investment activities in the southern cone countries of South America. In 1972 he became the youngest director of IFC (at that time) heading the department responsible for management, syndications and dispositions of its rapidly growing equity and loan portfolios representing over 200 investments worldwide and valued in 1975 at $900 million.
In 1975, at the invitation of an old friend, Mr. James D. Wolfensohn, then President and CEO of Schroders USA (ex-President of the World Bank), Ajit joined J. Henry Schroder Corporation (JHSC), New York, as its Managing Director and as Director of Schroder International. JHSC was the investment banking arm of Schroders PLC in the U.S. Its main activities were M&A, private placements and managing a venture capital pool. Ajit spent considerable time in Brazil developing business for Schroders. He was named Vice Chairman of J. Henry Schroder Corporation in 1982.
He joined The Sherwood Group, New York, in 1986 as Chairman to help the company raise substantial new capital and to build its corporate finance capabilities. Sherwood (later National Discount Brokers bought by Deutsche Bank) was one of the major wholesale market makers in the over-the-counter market and an underwriter and distributor of securities to the retail sector of the investment industry. While at Sherwood, Ajit was the only non-American Chairman of a Wall Street investment banking and securities trading company. Upon the death of the founder and majority shareholder, Ajit presided over the sale of Sherwood and left the company in February 1988, to start ICP.
Currently, Ajit is committed to utilizing his connections in and knowledge of India and the United States to build both philanthropic and business bridges between these countries. On the investment front, his interest is to bring private equity capital to India from the United States and to eventually channel capital from high-net-worth families in India to the United States.
Ajit Hutheesing was married first to Amrita Hutheesing and has three sons, Nikhil, Vivek and Ravi. He also has three grand children, Kirin, Remy, and Mirai. His marriage of 24 years ended in divorce and 12 years later he was married to Helen Armstrong, a violinist, in 1996. Ms. Armstrong was the founder and artistic director of Armstrong Chamber Concerts in Washington, Connecticut and a graduate of the Juilliard School of Music, from which she also received a master's degree. Helen died on 28 April 2006 in Greenwich, CT at the age of 63.
Immediately after Helen Armstrong's death, Ajit Hutheesing began writing his thoughts about their 17 years together. These "writings" became a book called "The Shadow of Her Smile", a love story, which was very well received in dozens of reviews. These reviews and other information about the book can be found on the website: www.theshadowofhersmile.com.