The latest news from the peripatetic Viswanathan Shankar is that he is joining Standard Chartered to set up a new global M&A division called Global Corporate Advisory. According to the bank the new team to be run by Shankar, "will work across geographies with relationship managers and product heads to cross sell the bank's product suite and optimise the benefits to corporate and institutional customers."
Joining Shankar at Standard Chartered will be Tan Jee Say as regional head of corporate advisory in South East Asia and Ming Wong as regional head of corporate advisory for North East Asia.
Before joining Standard Chartered Shankar was with CLSA running a new mezzanine financing unit. He was only with the firm for a month before Standard chareterd managed to lure him away with the attractions of a global role with a new business unit. Before CLSA, Shankar ran Bank of America's Asian investment banking team. At Standard Chareterd he will be based in Hong Kong and will report to Mike Rees, group head of global markets.
Prior to his move to Standard Chartered, Tan was the regional managing director of AIB Govett Asia, the international asset management company. His move to Standard Chartered is one back into investment banking as Tan has previously worked for Deutsche Morgan Grenfell and Peregrine Capital Singapore. He will be based in Singapore.
Wong joins Standard Chartered from Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce where he ran the bank's corporate finance and financial products division. Widely respected by clients for his abilities at melding risk management techniques with the more classical investment banking products, Wong has also worked for JPMorgan and Bankers Trust. He will be based in Hong Kong.
The hiring of this team represents a major move for Standard Chartered, which has recently sought to concentrate on its pure commercial banking business across its extensive emerging markets network. Nevertheless, companies in Asia are increasingly seeking finance to cover them through the preparatory stages of acquisitions and divestments. This bridge or mezzanine finance can be a very profiable business for banks with a strong balance sheet. To get the business however, banks need to have the strategic advisory capabilities. Standard Chartered now appears to have those capabilities.