Nomura hires top ICICI banker to head India ECM business - sources

Logo of Nomura Holdings is pictured in Tokyo

By Sriram Mani

MUMBAI (Reuters) - Nomura Holdings has tapped Mahesh Natarajan to head its equity capital markets business in India, two sources with direct knowledge told Reuters on Tuesday, a top-level investment banking hire that comes when dealmaking is going through a turbulent phase.

Natarajan is due to join the Japanese firm's Indian unit in the coming months, the sources said, declining to be named as the hiring decision is not public.

Natarajan currently heads the equity capital markets - including initial public offerings and block deals - for Nomura's domestic rival ICICI Securities and has spent nearly 17 years with the firm, according to his LinkedIn profile. He worked with Morgan Stanley earlier.

He replaces Mangesh Ghogre, who headed Nomura's equity capital market business in India until last month.

Both Nomura and Natarajan did not immediately respond to a request for comment. A spokesperson for ICICI declined to comment.

Data from Refinitiv showed Indian companies raised $19.4 billion from equity capital markets in 2022, down 45% from the previous year, amid a rising interest rate environment and growing concerns over valuations.

Nomura was part of equity deals worth nearly $830 million in India and was ranked 10th in 2022, Refinitiv data showed, 42% higher than the previous year.

Natarajan has been part of more than 100 deals over the years, including initial public offerings of Adani Wilmar, KKR-backed lender Five Star Business Finance and, state-owned Life Insurance Corporation of India, which was India's biggest ever last year.

(Reporting by M. Sriram; Editing by Aditya Kalra and Dhanya Ann Thoppil)