Citi Private Bank has announced it has promoted Sameer Kaul to India head after former incumbent Tashwinder Singh quit to join private equity firm KKR's build-out in Mumbai.
Kaul, who took up his new role at the start of this month, had previously worked as head of retail branch banking in India, where he took care of the commercial banking and wealth advisory businesses. His position has been filled internally.
He is a 17-year Citi veteran, having joined as a management associate in 1995 and worked in operations, product management, insurance distribution, mortgages and commercial banking.
He reports jointly to Citi Private Bank's Asia-Pacific chief executive Bassam Salem, who joined from privately held Swiss firm EFG last year, and Citi India's CEO Pramit Jhaveri.
Kaul's predecessor Singh quit Citi India this January and was appointed director of KKR's India unit this month with a remit to identify and develop strategic partnerships to grow KKR's private equity and non-banking finance operations in India.
In a statement KKR pointed to the depth of Singh’s experience and relationships with high-potential businesses in India, saying his hire would strengthen its efforts to establish partnerships with promoters.
Singh joined his former boss Sanjay Nayar, who had previously been CEO of Citigroup's India and South Asia operations before also leaving to start up KKR India as CEO in 2009.
Commenting on Singh's hire, Nayar said: “The increasing need for strategic capital has led us to partner with and provide multi-asset solutions to promoters helping them scale-up growth.”
Singh is the latest Citi India employee that Nayar has hired. Last year KKR India appointed Dhiren Mehta as a director to grow its multi-asset class business in the country.
Previously he was Nomura's head of fixed income institutional sales for India, but had also worked at Citigroup for 17 years, playing an important role in building the bank's fixed income sales platform in the country and having also served as head of its credit trading business there.
KKR co-founders and former Bear Stearns staffers Henry Kravis and George Roberts have described India as a core part of its growing global private equity and investment platform. "We believe India's compelling demographics, dynamic economy and culture of entrepreneurship will provide superior long-term investment opportunities," they are quoted as saying.
KKR is reported to have 15 investment professionals based in Mumbai, focusing on both private equity and non-banking financial services.