| HONG KONG
HONG KONG Jan 23 Veteran Asia deal maker Jesse
Bhattal, the former head of Nomura Holdings Inc's
wholesale division who resigned a year ago amid an acrimonious
restructuring, has joined investment bank Lazard Ltd as
a senior adviser.
Bhattal, 56, who has a reputation as a hands-on manager and
as a well-connected client man, will advise on clients and
strategic initiatives internationally, focusing on the
The appointment is effective immediately.
"Jesse Bhattal is one of the most respected and accomplished
dealmakers in the Asia Pacific region," Lazard's Chief Executive
said in a statement.
"We are confident that his experience and relationships will
benefit our clients in Lazard's core businesses globally."
Lazard finished 2012 as the 9th-ranked advisor globally for
completed mergers and acquisitions according to Thomson Reuters
data, but did not crack the top 25 for deals with any Asia
(excluding Japan) involvement during the same period.
It did better in Australia, placing 4th in 2012 and 2011 for
completed M&A deals, and in Japan where it ranked 16th last
Bhattal joined Nomura from Lehman Brothers, helping broker
the Japanese bank's takeover of its Asian operations, which he
headed, during the 2008 financial crisis.
But he and trusted lieutenant Tarun Jotwani resigned last
January after Nomura announced the splitting of its equities and
fixed income divisions, reversing a merger that the pair had
Among senior Nomura executives, confidence in Bhattal
evaporated in mid-2011 when the wholesale division lost $1
billion between July-September and more details of his cost
cutting plan for its equities division -- the historical heart
of Nomura -- emerged.
Sources familiar with the issue told Reuters at the time
that although Bhattal had been allowed a graceful exit, he was
Born in India's Punjab province, he was an excellent athlete
and accomplished squash player who became a Rhodes Scholar and
settled into the New York investment banking scene, working for
Merrill Lynch before moving to Lehman.