Clariden Leu hires

Clariden Leu targets expat Indians

Mohit Gupta and Sadaf Behbahany join Clariden Leu as the Swiss private bank enhances its drive to win non-resident Indian clients.

Clariden Leu has hired Mohit Gupta and Sadaf Behbahany to cover non-resident Indians (NRIs).

Gupta joins at the level of senior vice-president, functionally charged with being senior relationship manager for the Asian NRI business, including the Indian sub-continent. He will be based in Hong Kong and has the remit of acquiring and managing clients throughout the region. He joins from ING Financial Planning in Hong Kong and brings two decades of experience in wealth management.

Behbahany joins as a relationship manager in Gupta’s team, at the level of vice-president. She will be based in Singapore. Behbahany earlier worked with Standard Chartered for more than six years, most recently as senior associate director in the private bank.

Both Gupta and Behbahany will report to Varun Chugh, who heads Indian sub-continent and NRI Asia business for Clariden Leu. Chugh joined the Swiss private bank earlier this year from HSBC and brought with him a team including Ravi Ramakrishnan as a senior relationship manager responsible for client acquisition and managing clients, Sanith Jayaprakash as a relationship manager, Gaurav Shah as an account manager and Saumil Jayant Sheth as an investment adviser.

“These appointments are a further demonstration of Clariden Leu’s commitment to the Indian sub-continent and NRI markets,” said Niels Zilkens, global head of Indian sub-continent and NRI business at the bank. Chugh reports to Zilkens, who is based in Clariden Leu’s headquarters in Zurich.

A number of banks are strengthening their focus on the NRI segment as Indians around the world grow wealthier. In September last year, J.P. Morgan’s private banking arm appointed Rahul Malhotra managing director and market manager for India, responsible for expanding its business for Indian clients across different regions. Malhotra resigned from his position as head of global private clients for Bank of America Merrill Lynch for Asia-Pacific ex-Japan in early 2009.

Also last year, in May, RBS Coutts, the international private banking arm of Royal Bank of Scotland, appointed Ranjit Khanna as market head for non-resident Indians (NRI) and South Asia. Khanna joined RBS Coutts from Bank Sarasin Alpen in Dubai, where he led the establishment of the onshore private bank in India and developed the NRI business in the Gulf. Both Malhotra and Khanna are based in Singapore.

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