Karamvir Gosal, former managing director at the investment bank Jefferies, has set up a specialist boutique advisory firm called Valores Capital Partners, which will focus on the financial services sector. It has opened two offices in New York and Mumbai.

Valores will have dual focus, though. One will be straddling the global investment management industry and affiliated sectors such as brokerage, financial technology and service providers, to the investment community including administrators/custodians, index providers and analytics companies. The second strand will focus on India, as well as developing Asia.

The firm will provide M&A and corporate finance advisory services including private capital raising besides working with clients on high-level strategic issues.

Gosal, the firm’s founder and managing member, previously served as a senior banker within the financial institutions groups at Jefferies, Credit Suisse and Putnam Lovell, and advised on several US and cross-border transactions involving Asian financial companies. Among India-related deals, he was involved in Religare Enterprises’ acquisition of US-based PE firm Northgate Capital in early 2010.

“Faced with shifting investor preferences, heightened macro event risks, and uncertain and somewhat schizophrenic markets, investment managers are facing a unique set of challenges,” said Gosal.

“With our deep domain knowledge, extensive transaction and operational experience, broad network of relationships and on-the-ground presence in both North America and Asia, Valores is well positioned to offer our clients strategic advice in both their home markets and internationally,” he added.

Another senior team member is CL Handa, the firm’s managing director in India. Earlier, he was the head of SBI Merchant Banking (Delhi), the investment banking arm of State Bank of India – the country’s largest bank. He also served as SBI’s South-east Asia head and was managing director at Indian boutique investment bank Sobhagya Capital.

Among others, Hal Strong and Phil Maisano are serving as senior advisors at Valores. Strong, an operating executive with private equity firm Genstar Capital, is a former vice-chairman, COO and CFO of Russell Investments. Maisano is a former vice-chairman and chief investment officer at Dreyfus and chief investment strategist at parent company BNY Mellon Asset Management.

Quite a few financial services executives have tried their hands at boutique advisory firms in the recent past. While some gave up after accosting a tough deal-making environment, others have continued in the business. Also, some people left big i-banks to join smaller boutique and specialist advisory firms. These include names like Rajeev Gupta, former Carlyle chief in India, UBS’ Manisha Girotra who recently joined Moelis and Sanjay Bansal who set up his own firm Aurum.

(Edited by Sanghamitra Mandal)

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