CLSA loses four Indian bankers to local firm

India Infoline poaches the CLSA business heads to kickstart its ambition to grow its offering.
CLSA India has lost four of its senior India experts to India Infoline. The four are given an ownership stake in the Indian firm and a mandate to strengthen its offering.

International investment banks operating in India are usually at an advantage when recruiting as they offer the chance to be part of a global firm with a corresponding career path. This recent exodus from CLSA suggests that the tables might be turning.

In line with its Asia-wide positioning, CLSA is known for the high-quality of its India research with its analysts routinely rated among the best in the region. To complement this research strength, CLSA has a strong sales team covering the largest investors in the region.

And it is precisely these strengths which made the team attractive to India Infoline which noted in its Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) filing that it had a ôrequirement of strengthening senior management bandwidth for its aggressive growth plans for investment banking, institutional equities, asset management and for expanding international businessö.

India Infoline has poached: Bharat Parajia, director of sales for CLSA based in Singapore; Hastimal Nemkumar, country head for India; Aniruddha Dange, head of research in India; and Vasudev Jagannath, head of sales in India.

India Infoline said in its BSE filing on May 25 that it could pay up to Rs440 million ($10.8 million) as sign-on bonuses to the four.

India Infoline is also offering something increasingly attractive to young Indians with an entrepreneurial streak û shared ownership. India Infoline approved on Friday a grant of 11 million equity warrants. Parajia and Nemkumar will be allotted 2.5 million warrants each and Dange and Jagannath 2 million warrants each. India Infoline founders Nirmal Jain and R. Venkatraman, along with Khattar Holdings, will collectively be allotted 2 million warrants. The aggregate value of the warrants at the set strike price of Rs440 is Rs4.8 billion; post-exercise, the equity base of India Infoline will increase by 15%.

"Our strategy is to complement our existing core competencies which pertain to retail financial services with competencies required for non-retail including institutional equities, asset management and investment banking," says Jain. "Also, the new team has a global perspective which complements our local strength and an enviable track record of building a business from scratch to leadership."

India Infoline was founded by two professionals, Nirmal Jain and R. Venkatraman in 1995. As stated in a stock exchange filing in April, the founders own 33% of the company while Citi owns 6.5% and Merrill Lynch 14%. Its offerings include equities, derivatives and commodities trading and portfolio management services. These capabilities, combined with a catchy slogan ôItÆs all about money, honeyö, have made it a leading player in the online brokerage space. India Infoline owns and manages the websites, and

India Infoline has over 150,000 clients and is adding around 10,000 customers a month through its network across 350 cities and towns in India. Its total income for the latest fiscal year was Rs2.9 billion on which it earned a net profit of Rs521 million. Its growth and ability to attract top-notch talent is another sign that in an economy which grew at more than 9% for the latest fiscal year, there are opportunities for both home-grown firms and Wall Street giants to prosper.
¬ Haymarket Media Limited. All rights reserved.

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