Jefferies/India

Jefferies continues hiring spree

Jefferies sets up sales and research capabilities in India bringing on board Kunal Bajaj, Govind Chellappa, Anand Agarwal and Ramnath Iyer.

Jefferies has created sales and research capabilities in India by poaching Kunal Bajaj, Govind Chellappa and Anand Agarwal from Credit Suisse, and Ramnath Iyer from Pioneer.

Bajaj, who brings to his new job 11 years of experience, will head India equity sales. Chellappa, who has been a banker for 12 years, will both head India research and be responsible for coverage of the auto and consumer industries. Both Bajaj and Chellappa have been designated as managing directors. Agarwal will cover the real estate industry and joins at the level of senior vice-president. All three are based in Mumbai.

The troika joins from Credit Suisse, where Bajaj was most recently a director in institutional equity sales covering clients based in Asia; and Chellappa was a director in equity research covering the automobile and consumer sectors. Chellappa has also worked at Deutsche Bank. Agarwal was a vice-president in equity research covering the real estate and cement sectors. He earlier worked at UBS.

Pan-Asia equity research at Jefferies is headed by Nilesh Jasani. Jasani was poached by Jefferies from Credit Suisse last year. He brought 17 years of experience, including stints at HSBC, Societe Generale and CLSA. Jasani was head of India research at CS before he joined Jefferies, so he is likely to have been familiar with the team that has now joined from the Swiss bank. Jasani continues to cover India at Jefferies, combining the role of India equity research strategy with his other responsibilities.

Iyer joins Jefferies as a managing director in equity sales with a focus on the Indian market. He joins from Pioneer Investments where he was a senior portfolio manager. Over the course of his 21-year career Iyer has also worked at CLSA and UOB Asset Management. He will be based in Singapore.

Jefferies recently received membership of India’s National Stock Exchange and Bombay Stock Exchange Limited.

Probir Rao is the current head of investment banking for Jefferies in India, where the bank has been providing capital markets and M&A advisory services since 2007 and now has 12 investment bankers covering a range of sectors.

“The establishment of a full-service equities business in India is the next step in our broader Asian equities expansion and comes on the heels of recent additions to our equity business in Tokyo and the firm’s ongoing growth in Hong Kong,” said Mike Alexander, chief executive officer of Jefferies Asia, in a written statement. “The Indian market represents a significant opportunity for our global equities business, and the establishment of this capability, which we expect to launch in the third quarter of this year, is a key part of our strategy to provide clients with high quality research and insight coupled with world-class execution and distribution globally."

Alexander started at Jefferies in October last year, based in Hong Kong. He was earlier at CLSA, where he spent five years. He was charged with building Jefferies' equity research, sales and trading offering in Hong Kong, India, Japan, Singapore, Korea and Taiwan. During the course of his 25-year career Alexander also worked at Deutsche, J.P. Morgan and Ord Minnett Securities. Jefferies announced a host of other hires from CLSA at the same time as it announced Alexander’s appointment. Since then the US investment bank, which is based in New York, has been consistently adding to its Asia team, using the strategy of hiring teams of people from other firms.

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