Filling a noticeable gap in its global emerging markets franchise, ING Barings has hired Bank of America's (BoA) entire Indian investment banking team. The move follows BoA's decision in June to close its investment banking operations in Asia, affecting 55 staff in Bombay, Hong Kong and Singapore.

In truth, its Indian operations were an exception to the bank's failure elsewhere in the region and it is believed to have had 16 outstanding mandates when the announcement to close its office was made. These include the privatizations of Indian Airports and Madras Fertilizer, as well as M&A deals for Indian Oil, Infosys and Wipro.

Just what will happen with these mandates has not been made public, although it is believed that at least four including Infosys and Wipro have been transferred.

The 12 strong team headed by Sunil Gulati will report to ING's country manager Atul Sahasrabuddhe. Gulati, who has been appointed head of investment banking India, has 17 years of investment banking experience, most recently 12 years with Bank of America in India and Hong Kong.

Other senior appointments within the team include Amit Bisaria, who joins as a director in investment banking. With 14 years of corporate and investment banking expertise, Bisaria has focused on North India since 1998. Also with 14 years experience comes Sandeep Sharma, who joins as a director. At BoA, Sharma, has primary responsibility for debt including origination and syndication, as well as convertibles and project finance.

The third senior hire is J Vijay Anand who joins as a director in investment banking. With 11 years investment banking experience, Anand has spent the past year focusing on M&A, as well as strategic advisory mandates.

The remainder of the team comprises: Sanjeev Chhabra, Rahul Nair, Deepak Kukian, Sanchayan Chakraborty, Devesh Bhargava, Hemant Tanna, Subhadeep Ghosh and Dipti Goyal.

At the time of its decision to close its Asian investment banking arm, Bank of America's Asian president, Colm McCarthy, told FinanceAsia that the bank would try and place some of the affected employees into new focus areas, including local debt capital markets and commodity finance and trading.