Standard Chartered appoints Ashish Mittal to global head of commodities sales

Standard Chartered Bank has promoted Ashish Mittal to global head of commodities sales, based in Singapore.

On Friday, Standard Chartered Bank promoted Ashish Mittal to global head of commodities sales. Mittal will continue to be based in Singapore.

Mittal reports to David Carr, global head of sales, financial markets, and Vincent Van Pelt, global head of commodities and equities, financial markets. He replaces Sean Mulhearn who resigned earlier this month "to pursue personal interests".

Mittal was previously Standard Chartered's regional head of South and Southeast Asia sales for financial markets. Mittal's earlier portfolio will now be separated regionally. Richa Khanduri who was previously co-head of South Asia sales for financial markets (along with Muthu Kumar) will now assume sole responsibility for sales in the South Asia region. Khanduri will also report to Carr.

Mittal will continue to manage the Southeast Asia sales portfolio until a suitable replacement is found.

"The commodities business has developed into a core revenue stream at Standard Chartered and the market still holds great opportunities for growth," said Mittal in a written statement. "I hope to take the business to greater heights."

Standard Chartered started its commodities business three years ago and now has a team of around 50 people.

Standard Chartered has used the last few months to strengthen its wholesale bank team, to better enable it to provide products and services to its corporate clients. It has been helped by its ability to attract top-notch talent from its competitors which are distracted by balance sheet issues. Last week Standard Chartered appointed Kevin Smith as global head of oil and gas corporate advisory, based in London. Smith last worked with Bank of America-Merrill Lynch.

Some observers expect Standard Chartered will next enhance focus on its retail banking franchise. The bank is currently engaged in discussions with the Royal Bank of Scotland for the RBS retail and commercial businesses in India and China. RBS announced the sale of selected assets in Hong Kong, Indonesia, the Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan and Vietnam to the Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ) early this month and then the sale of its Pakistan operations to MCB Bank shortly thereafter. Sources say Standard Chartered is the likely buyer for the RBS India and China assets, however, both parties are still negotiating some aspects of the deal.

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