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J.P. Morgan poaches Merrill India team

A team of six senior-level employees from DSP Merrill Lynch skip to J.P. Morgan to bulk up the equities and derivatives business.

Six senior staff members from DSP Merrill Lynch have jumped ship to J.P. Morgan in India to build up the firm's equities and derivatives business.

The contingent from Merrill Lynch's India franchise, DSP Merrill Lynch, is led by Kaku Nakhate and increases J.P. Morgan's headcount in equities and derivatives in India to 28. Of the six hires, four join at the managing director level and two at the executive director level, confirming that J.P. Morgan is committed to building this business and willing to invest in talent that brings the requisite skills and experience.

A DSP veteran, Nakhate has been appointed vice chairperson of J.P. Morgan's India operations. She will lead cash equities, equity derivatives and futures and options at the firm and will also have a supervisory role for J.P. Morgan's worldwide securities services (custody) business in India. Nakhate will report locally to Kalpana Morparia, chief executive officer of J.P. Morgan India, and on a functional basis to Richard Berliand, head of global cash equities and prime services, and Laurence Bailey, CEO of J.P. Morgan custody. Nakhate was recently appointed head of global markets for India at DSP.

J.P. Morgan has also appointed Manish Prasad and Avinash Gupta as co-heads of equities and futures and options. At DSP, Prasad and Gupta were co-heads of sales across both cash and derivatives. The duo will report locally to Nakhate and regionally to Nick Andrews, head of Asia-Pacific and emerging markets equities, and Nick Forgan, head of futures and options in Asia-Pacific.

Also joining the J.P. Morgan team from DSP are: Manish Tawde, who will head equity derivatives and structured products in India; Aditya Khansaheb in cash equities and futures and options in Mumbai; and Sachin Parekh in cash equities and futures and options in Singapore.

J.P. Morgan does not currently have plans to start proprietary trading in India, says a source. With the hires it hopes to significantly ramp up the flow derivatives and structured product businesses, in addition to the cash and futures and options businesses.

The six new hires add strength to a 22-person onshore India team that is already covering sales and trading in cash equities and futures and options. In all, J.P. Morgan India has 80 people in its markets division. On the investment banking side, across client coverage, advisory and equity and debt capital markets, the firm employs around 30 people.

"These appointments deliver a huge boost to our current capabilities in India and other regional markets," says Andrews in a written statement. "At the same time [Nakhate] will work on the establishment of new lines of business and tighter partnership across existing businesses."

At DSP Merrill Lynch steps have already been taken to fill the vacancies created by the departures. Nozer Shroff will continue to head equities and Jayesh Mehta will head fixed income, say sources close to the development. Both Shroff and Mehta are managing directors at DSP and Shroff was earlier co-head of equities along with Nakhate. DSP Merrill Lynch currently has no plans to hire anyone to replace the people who have left, add the sources.

¬ Haymarket Media Limited. All rights reserved.

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