Citi India poaches Vikas Khattar

The DSP Merrill Lynch banker has joined Citi to strengthen its equities team in India.
Citi India has poached Vikas Khattar from DSP Merrill Lynch to add strength to its equity capital markets team.

Khattar was a veteran at DSP Merrill Lynch with 11 years experience. He starts at Citi, in the capacity of director, early next month. Citi spokesperson, James Griffiths, confirmed the development.

CitiÆs equity capital markets team is headed by another erstwhile DSP Merrill Lynch stalwart, Ravi Kapoor. Kapoor left DSP ML, where he was head of equity origination and capital markets, in April 2005 to kick-start the same business for Citi. Khattar will be part of Kapoor's team, which reports to Pramit Jhaveri, who heads investment banking for Citi in India.

Kapoor and his team successfully catapulted Citi to a top-tier player in equity capital markets league tables in India for calendar 2006. The US bank has been doing well in 2007 too, with deals including a position as book running lead manager to the proposed IPO by real estate major DLF, expected to be one of the largest in the history of Indian capital markets. DSP Merrill Lynch and Kotak Mahindra have the coveted global coordinator role on this IPO.

Khattar is an MBA from the Indian Institute of Management at Calcutta following an engineering degree from the Birla Institute of Technology and Science.

Churn in the financial services industry in India is high as investment banks, private equity firms, hedge funds and others seek to strengthen their operations, to service the demands of companies in an economy growing at 9% per annum.

For its part DSP Merrill Lynch is also on a hiring spree since Merrill Lynch bought out its Indian partner in December 2005. DSP is aggressively foraying into new areas including private wealth management, real estate and principal investing and hiring to staff these businesses. Indeed, worldwide Merrill Lynch has been beefing up its global private client non-resident Indian (NRI) business at the cost of Citi and has lured Rahul Malhotra, Inderjeet Hora and Aseem Arora from Citi in the last few months.
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