Ambit hires ABN veteran for India wealth management

Financial services group Ambit appoints Sutapa Banerjee to spearhead its foray into private banking in India.

Indian boutique investment bank Ambit has appointed ABN AMRO veteran Sutapa Banerjee as head of the wealth management arm at its brokerage firm Ambit Capital.

Banerjee will be responsible for establishing the wealth management business and providing impetus to the private client business. She was most recently head of private banking in India for ABN, a business she launched. In all, she had a 12-year stint at the Dutch bank.

After ABN AMRO was taken over by the Royal Bank of Scotland, the new owner in mid-2008 created five business verticals in India, of which wealth management was one. To head wealth management, RBS appointed Banerjee and Paul Davies as joint business heads. ABN AMRO, which continues to operate under its Dutch name in India, has around 60 private banking staff across five branches in India, including 30 private bankers.

The global takeover of ABN AMRO by a consortium of RBS, Fortis and Santander saw Fortis buy the asset management and private banking businesses. However, the India wealth management business was carved out and retained by RBS. Davies was seconded from RBS Coutts in Singapore.

Banerjee resigned from ABN AMRO last year following the ownership changes. At the time ABN AMRO had assets under management in the private bank of $1.25 billion. Davies has since moved to Hong Kong with RBS, and the ABN AMRO wealth management business is now headed by Shiv Gupta.

"In her previous role Banerjee has demonstrated extraordinary capacity to build the wealth management business from inception, and taking it to a very strong and competitive position," said Ashok Wadhwa, Ambit's group chief executive officer, in a written statement commenting on the appointment. "We look forward to her leadership skills and business acumen to drive Ambit's growth and give a new dimension to our wealth management business."

Ambit Capital is the investment management and brokerage arm of Ambit Group created in 2006. The Ambit Group was formed around a decade ago to provide financial services in India.

¬ Haymarket Media Limited. All rights reserved.
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