Sanjeev Kumar bows out of RBS to join BTMU

Sanjeev Kumar, previously head of coverage for Asia-Pacific at RBS, will be joining Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi UFJ.

Sanjeev Kumar, former head of coverage for Asia-Pacific at Royal Bank of Scotland, will be joining Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi UFJ (BTMU), according to two sources familiar with the matter.

Kumar declined to comment on the move when contacted by FinanceAsia. On September 2, BTMU confirmed that Kumar has been appointed deputy general manager and head of event finance within the Asian investment banking division. The event finance team will support corporate clients' financing and investment needs across Asia ex-Japan and Oceania.

Kilts to kimonos

Kumar worked at RBS for about a decade in various corporate finance and corporate advisory roles, according to his Linkedin profile. The Edinburgh-headquartered bank has been reducing its business across the Asia Pacific and has cut debt capital markets among other businesses.

BTMU, the main banking arm of Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group and Japan's biggest bank by market capitalisation, is in the process of building its Asia platform with a number of recent hires. It is looking to pluck senior bankers from global rivals to help expand business outside Japan where loan growth is sluggish and yields razor thin.

In April, the bank named Peter Heidinger co-head of corporate banking across Asia and Oceania. However, Heidinger later decided not to join the bank citing personal reasons, a BTMU spokesperson confirmed on Monday. According to Heidinger's Linkedin profile, he is now head of global banking and markets for Asia Pacific at Scotiabank. BTMU also appointed Frederic Cabay as head of financial institutions coverage in the region in April.

Scaling up, paring down

The bank is an active lender in the region and has funded projects such as Roy Hill, a $10 billion iron ore project in Western Australia owned by the country’s richest person Gina Rinehart, and blockbuster takeovers including Suntory’s $16 billion acquisition of US whisky maker Beam.

A BTMU spokesperson told FinanceAsia the company is "always on the lookout for experienced individuals to join our team which we believe will bring value in steering our business to greater heights in the Asia & Oceania region."

Meanwhile, as RBS trims business in Asia, its bankers have jumped to other shops. In end July, ex-RBS banker Raghu Narain joined Natixis’ Hong Kong office as head of corporate advisory, Asia Pacific, focusing on M&A and providing capital structure and ratings advisory to companies. Elsewhere, in August, David Yim, RBS's former head of debt capital markets for Asia, joined Standard Chartered as its head of debt capital markets across Greater China.

(This story has been amended to include a BTMU spokesperson's confirmation that Heidinger decided not to join BTMU and Kumar's role)

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