India's best corporate and investment bank 2020: Kotak Mahindra Bank
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India's best corporate and investment bank 2020: Kotak Mahindra Bank

Kotak Mahindra Bank

KVS Manian, Whole-time Director, Corporate, Institutional & Investment Banking, Wealth Management, Kotak Mahindra Bank.jpg
KVS Manian, Kotak Mahindra Bank

Winning corporate and investment banking mandates in India is no easy feat: the privately owned banks are not only competing against each other, but also against the state-owned banks and a slew of international banks that have long-standing relationships with clients.

In such a competitive environment, Kotak Mahindra Bank’s corporate and investment banking business stands out.

Under KVS Manian, group president for corporate, institutional, investment banking and wealth management, Kotak did a few things differently in 2019. Its decision to improve collaboration between the corporate and investment banking businesses is slowly but steadily starting to pay off, with more cross-selling opportunities arising, say bankers at the firm.

It also decided to shake up its business, based on its deep insight into the Indian market. With the equities market more prone to volatility – not just due to domestic issues, but also international worries – Kotak decided to focus more on its advisory business last year, adding more sector specialists.

This led to a change in its revenue stream for the CIB business: traditionally, 60% to 70% of revenues come from the equities business and the rest from advisory, but Kotak managed to reverse this and make two thirds of its CIB revenues from its advisory franchise and one third from equities.

Landmark ECM deals include Bajaj Finance’s $1.2 billion placement, its own $1 billion follow-on offering and the first real estate investment trust IPO in India.

The bank has demonstrated the depth of its franchise by working on deals across business lines, including running sell-side and buy-side deals, private equity transactions, restructurings, buy-backs and tender offers, acquisition financing and securitization trades. It has also shown its reach, with a client roster that includes Vodafone, Blackstone and Infosys.

Its custodian business has grown impressively too, making it one of India’s largest domestic custodians with assets under custody of more than $32 billion.

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