India's financial services sector witnessed two high profile moves yesterday. Munesh Khanna, country head and managing director of NM Rothschild announced his resignation and is said to be joining Enam Financial Consultants as co-head of investment banking. He will replace Mahesh Chhabria, who has resigned from Enam to join private equity firm 3i.
Khanna joined NM Rothschild in early 2002 in place of Oliver Blackaby who had set up the India operations and then moved back to Europe. Before taking on his job at Rothschild, Munesh had previously established Arthur Anderson's corporate finance practice in India.
Rothschild has announced that Khanna's deputy Sanjay Bhandarkar will take on the role of Country Head. Although the reasons behind Khanna[s departure are not clear, sources say he has been keen to expand his portfolio and encompass a capital markets role - an area Rothschild does not focus on in India.
Enam is a purely Indian investment bank and was set up in 1984 by four partners of whom the name most prominently associated with the firm has been Vallabh Bhansali. It has particularly created a niche for itself advising family-owned businesses, which still form the majority of Indian companies.
Private equity firm, 3i started talking about increasing its focus on India towards the end of 2004 and Chris Rowlands, 3i's head of group markets has said the firm may invest up to $150 million per annum in the country. In March this year, 3i hired Anil Ahuja from JPMorgan Partners Asia (where he looked after India investments) to spearhead its India effort. Chhabria will work with Ahuja.