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Arjun Mathrani, Chief executive officer, ING Barings

A native of Calicut, India, Arjun Mathrani was one of a cadre of foreign-born bankers groomed for leadership at what was historically the most international of US financial institutions: Chase Manhattan Bank. But now Mathrani has become one of the last of such senior executives to leave at a time when the bank seems less internationally focussed.

This month Mathrani joined ING Group in the newly-created position of chief executive officer of ING Barings, its banking unit.

In 28 years at Chase, his jobs ranged from Latin American credit officer to treasurer and chief financial officer. After its merger with Chemical Bank, he became senior managing director in charge of global client management and since February 1997 responsible for asset management and private banking.

ING Barings is noted for its emphasis on emerging markets and even claims to have coined the expression. With such a history, it is not surprising that ING Barings has become the first western bank to name as its chief executive officer an individual born in one of the emerging markets it covers. Indeed, Mathrani believes that foreign-born executives have left Chase because of their perception of a glass ceiling thwarting their climb up the corporate ladder.

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