J.P. Morgan's India treasurer Srinivasan quits

Srinivasan Varadarajan who is currently treasurer for J.P. Morgan in India has resigned and there is speculation that he will become a board member at Axis Bank.

J.P. Morgan veteran Srinivasan Varadarajan who is currently treasurer of the US bank's India operations, based in Mumbai, has tendered his resignation.

Srinivasan has been with J.P. Morgan since 1998, when the US bank dissolved its joint venture with ICICI Bank and set up shop alone in India. Before that he was with ICICI Securities, the joint venture between ICICI and J.P. Morgan which was formed in 1993. Srinivasan joined ICICI in 1990 after an MBA from the Indian Institute of Management at Calcutta.

Srinivasan, who is a managing director at the US investment bank, reports to Tarun Mahrotri who heads global rates and foreign exchange markets for J.P. Morgan for Asia ex-Japan, based out of Hong Kong. Locally he reports to Kalpana Morparia who is vice-chairman of J.P. Morgan India, based in Mumbai.

Sources close to the situation said Srinivasan is expected to join Axis Bank (the former UTI Bank) as an executive director, on the board of the bank, in charge of both treasury and corporate banking. "It is unlikely that Srini would leave only for the treasury function which he already does at J.P. Morgan," said the source.

Other sources added that Srinivasan is likely to be leaving for the challenge of doing something new and different and being part of the top management at the Indian bank. Local banks and investment banks in India have been able to attract talent because strategy and direction for the firms is decided in India, which appeals to many professionals at a certain stage in their career.

Srinivasan could not be reached for comment.

If Srinivasan joins Axis Bank he will be one of the first senior-level appointments made by Shikha Sharma who took over as chief executive officer at Axis Bank on June 1. Sharma was earlier founder chief executive officer of ICICI Prudential Life Insurance Company and before that worked in various capacities at ICICI Bank and ICICI Securities.

A J.P. Morgan spokesperson confirmed the development and said J.P. Morgan has a deep bench of senior people in India who work with Srinivasan who are currently stepping in to fill the gap which will be created by his departure. However, this is a temporary solution and for the long-term the bank has not decided who will be appointed to the position of treasurer in India.

The spokesperson added that Srinivasan's departure date is still being worked out and given the number of years he has worked with the US investment bank, the departure is amicable. Sources in the know said that Srinivasan is likely to join Axis Bank by mid-September, after a handover period at J.P. Morgan and a short gardening leave.

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