JPMorgan’s Nakhate to be BoA-ML India head

JPMorgan’s Nakhate to be BoA-ML India head

Mumbai: Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BoA-ML)hired Kaku Nakhate, vice-chairman of JPMorgan Chase and Co.’s Indian unit, to replace Kevan Watts as head of operations in India.

Nakhate, 43, will report to Brian Brille, president of BoA-ML for the Asia-Pacific region, according to an email statement. Watts, a 29-year veteran, will retire later this year, Bank of America said.

Nakhate is returning to BoA-ML less than a year after leading a team of five bankers to join JPMorgan. Investment banking fees in India may rise this year as the government sells off record assets and takeovers accelerate led by Bharti Airtel Ltd’s proposed acquisition of Kuwait’s Zain.

The North Carolina-based company also rehired Avinash Gupta, co-head of equity sales for India at JPMorgan, according to two people familiar with the matter. Last April, Gupta, 37, was part of the team from the global markets division at BoA-ML’s Indian unit who quit and joined JPMorgan.

Manish Prasad, co-head for equity sales at JPMorgan in India, will replace Nakhate as head of equities, according to another person familiar with the matter.

Mona Kwatra, a spokeswoman for Bank of America in Mumbai, and Kavita Sonawala, a spokeswoman for JPMorgan in Mumbai, declined to comment on Thursday.

Nakhate, who graduated from the Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies in Mumbai, had previously spent more than 18 years with Merrill Lynch and Co., rising to the head of global markets at the Indian joint venture before joining JPMorgan in April 2009.

Watts was appointed as president of Merrill Lynch’s Indian unit in February 2008, before the US company was acquired by Bank of America.