Praveen Chakravarty, formerly BNP Paribas Securities’ India managing director for institutional equities, is joining Mumbai-based financial services group Anand Rathi as CEO of its investment banking and equities business, said a source familiar with the development.

An active public policy enthusiast, Chakravarty had quit BNP Paribas in August, 2010, to join former Infosys honcho Nandan Nilekani-led Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) project as a volunteer for its Financial Inclusion initiative.

Chakravarty, who joins Anand Rathi with a stake in the firm, has been mandated to grow the firm’s institutional business. He will report to the chairman Anand Rathi and the company board. With Chakravarty coming in, the firm is now looking to grow its business in areas like private equity, venture capital and cross-border M&A advisory businesses, besides the equity capital markets (ECM) play.

Incidentally, Chakravarty is the co-founder of Mumbai Angels and an active angel investor, sitting on the boards of various start-ups. He is a familiar face in the VC/PE community, which is expected to help Anand Rathi build a practice in the space.

Chakravarty had helped set up BNP’s equities business in India when he moved in as chief operating officer (COO) and head of research in 2007. He was also one of the founding members of the India business. During his previous stints, he had worked with Thomas Wiesel, Microsoft and IBM. Chakravarty had done his MBA from the Wharton School and graduated from BITS, Pilani.

Anand Rathi is one of the few larger investment banking platforms in the country which is still privately held. It had raised funding from Citi Venture Capital International in 2007 and most recently, was the banker to the issue of Lovable Lingerie. Anand Rathi also has retail and wealth management businesses, besides the institutional business.

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