Lehman Brothers' plan to build an investment banking franchise in India is underway following the poaching of Surojit Shome from Citigroup. Shome will be managing director and head of investment banking for Lehman Brothers in India, based in Mumbai. He will report locally to Tarun Jotwani, who was recently appointed chairman and CEO of Lehman's Indian operations, and regionally to Kunho Cho, head of investment banking, Asia-Pacific.

Shome is not a career investment banker. Indeed, he last held a position in corporate banking, heading CitigroupÆs franchise for India and the sub-continent, a role he took on just a year ago in November 2005. When Shome was appointed to that role he also maintained the handing of the bank's financial institutions portfolio. Shome has also held the position of head, financial institutions group for India and neighbouring countries Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Nepal.

Sources commented that bringing a senior relationship banker on board reflects how difficult it is becoming to break into mandates in India without access to key decision makers.

Shome is a career Citibanker who joined Citigroup in 1988 and spent 17 years across a variety of product and sales roles including a stint in Dubai as unit head for the mortgage group.

Lehman is keen to establish its investment banking franchise in India and part of JotwaniÆs mandate is to build a team. This is no easy task at the current juncture, given competition from others such as Credit Suisse and Goldman Sachs, who are also aggressively expanding their India coverage.