Rahul Shukla to head Citi corporate banking in India

Citi moves Rahul Shukla to India as head of corporate banking, while Nikhil Eapen takes over as Asia-Pacific head of TMT in the global banking division.
Nikhil Eapen
Nikhil Eapen

Citi has promoted Rahul Shukla to head of corporate banking in India. Nikhil Eapen, who currently works with him, will take on Shukla's current role as Asia-Pacific head of technology, media and telecommunications (TMT) within the global banking division.

In his new role, Shukla will be charged with enhancing Citi's offering of corporate banking services in India, including cash management, foreign exchange, loans and trade finance. His appointment will become effective in July. The bank said his expertise and client management skills will help it continue to build its capabilities in India. Shukla will be based in Mumbai and report to Ravi Kapoor, who was named head of global banking for India in April.

Eapen, who has spent six years in Citi's Hong Kong-based Asia-Pacific TMT team, will report to Farhan Faruqui, Asia-Pacific head of global banking. He has big shoes to fill in his new position; during Shukla's more than three years as TMT head, he originated and executed more than $75 billion worth of mergers and acquisitions and $10 billion of equities transactions, according to the bank.  

In an internal announcement, Citi said Shukla's appointment underlined its commitment to drive the corporate banking business in India, which is a "key growth market".

A source told FinanceAsia that as much as 90% of Citi's global markets revenue comes from corporate banking, while investment banking contributes the remaining 10%. The source added that recent announcements by rival banks about the expansion of their corporate banking franchises in Asia have put pressure on Citi to actively manage this business line.

ANZ, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, DBS and J.P. Morgan all have ambitions to grow their corporate banking operations in Asia. As per announcements earlier this year, BoA Merrill wants to capitalise on synergies created through Bank of America's 2008 acquisition of Merrill Lynch and J.P. Morgan is in the midst of hiring for its global corporate bank. Meanwhile, ANZ and DBS have had their corporate banking ambitions for some time. ANZ received approval to set up a foreign banking branch in India this past March after a 10-year hiatus.

However, Citi has one of the largest and deepest commercial banking franchises in Asia. According to Greenwich Associates' 2010 Asian large corporate banking study, Citi was second only to HSBC with regard to market penetration, and ranked first in quality across the region.

Citi's last dedicated head of corporate banking in India was Anuratna Chadha who was appointed head of Citi's global wealth management arm in India on January 1, 2008. Since then, the role has been covered by the India head of global banking, a position held by Pramit Jhaveri before Kapoor. Jhaveri was promoted to chief country officer for India in March.

Shukla has been with the bank since 1991 in both corporate and investment banking roles in India, Hong Kong and Singapore. Eapen joined Citi in 1997 as a financial analyst in its investment banking department.

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