India: the new jewel in the investment banking crown?
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India: the new jewel in the investment banking crown?

The prospect of greater M&A and capital markets activity by Indian companies means that no bank can afford to ignore the sub-continent. Some are attacking the market through joint ventures and alliances with locals; others are going it alone. But which ones will succeed, and how will independent local players stand up to the competition? Sudip Roy reports from Mumbai.

India: A shortage of talent

WHEN HE STARES out of his office window in Mumbai, Brooks Entwistle has a superb panoramic view of the Arabian Sea. The weather is inclement, with India’s monsoon season in full swing, but the peninsula is still a breathtaking sight. The CEO of Goldman Sachs’s India business is a lucky man. He had better not get too attached to the view, though, as he won’t have it for much longer.

Entwistle’s office is a suite on the 10th floor of a five-star hotel in Nariman Point in Mumbai’s financial district. His residence there is temporary. The US firm will move into bigger premises later this year. The move is symbolic of Goldman’s new start in India as it waits for the green light from the regulators to begin its banking operations in the country.

For 10 years Goldman Sachs had built its business in India through a joint venture with one of India’s leading financial services groups, Kotak Mahindra Bank. Goldman held a 25% stake in two of Kotak’s subsidiaries, Kotak Mahindra Capital Company and Kotak Securities. Now it wants to go it alone. In March, Goldman parted formal company with Kotak, when the Indian firm bought out Goldman’s stake for a combined Re3.33

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