RBL Bank in talks to hire Citi executive

If hired, Citi executive Vincent Valladares would replace Sandeep Thapliyal, who left RBL Bank and joined Avendus Finance


RBL Bank’s IPO in August was oversubscribed 70 times—the highest overall subscription among IPOs of private sector banks. Ramesh Pathania/Mint
RBL Bank’s IPO in August was oversubscribed 70 times—the highest overall subscription among IPOs of private sector banks. Ramesh Pathania/Mint

Mumbai: Private sector lender RBL Bank Ltd (formerly Ratnakar Bank) is in talks to hire Vincent Valladares, the head of Citibank’s commercial banking division in the Middle East, to lead its commercial banking operations in India, two people with direct knowledge of the development said.

If hired, Valladares would replace Sandeep Thapliyal, who left RBL and joined Avendus Finance Pvt. Ltd, the non-banking financial arm of Avendus Capital, as managing director and chief executive officer last week, said one of the people, both of whom declined to be named.

Valladares joined Citi in 1997 as business planning manager and was managing director at Citi India before he shifted to Dubai in 2013.

An RBL spokesperson declined to comment, while emails sent to a Citi spokesperson and Valladares on Tuesday did not elicit any response.

RBL’s Rs1,211 crore initial public offering (IPO) in August was oversubscribed 70 times—the highest overall subscription among IPOs of private sector banks.

RBL was the country’s first private sector bank to go public in last 10 years. The last was Yes Bank Ltd, which raised Rs315 crore in July 2005. State-owned Punjab and Sind Bank Ltd raised Rs480 crore through an IPO in 2010.

RBL is backed by private equity funds such as Faering Capital India Evolving Fund, PremjiInvest, Aditya Birla Private Equity Trust and ChrysCapital.

A number of domestic banks have of late been hiring senior executives from multinational banks. For instance, state-owned Bank of Baroda this week hired Ratnesh Kumar as managing director and chief executive of its investment banking subsidiary BOB Capital Markets Ltd. Kumar, was earlier managing director, head of cash equities and chief executive officer at Standard Chartered Securities in India.

Several struggling foreign banks have either shut down certain divisions or reduced staff in the last couple of years, leading to the exit of a number of senior executives.

Last month, South Africa’s FirstRand Bank decided to shut its retail and SME lending business in India. Royal Bank of Scotland Plc wound up its corporate, retail and institutional operations in India in May, while UK-based Barclays Plc is shutting down its cash equities division in India. In 2015, Standard Chartered Plc also shut its equities business in India.

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