Karam Butalia, former global head of private equity at Standard Chartered, it emerges now, was the highest paid banker in Britain last year. Butalia, 55, who left StanChart PE last year, took home £16 million ($23.4 million, according to current rates), which was four times as much as what Peter Sands, the CEO of Standard Chartered Bank, got paid last year. Apparently Sands earned more than any other British bank CEO.

If Butalia has overtaken even Sands, it's because the former ran one of the must successful businesses for the British bank for last six years. He was heading StanChart's private equity business out of Singapore, and was responsible for the division's some of the best investments.

Some of Butalia's multi-baggers are a construction firm and a pen maker in China, and an engineering firm in India. The Indian company in question is Punj Lloyd in which StanChart led a $50 million round in February 2005. The other investors in the round were Temasek Holdings, Merlion India Fund (a JV between StanChart PE and Temasek), New York Life and Jacob Ballas Capital.

Standard Chartered PE and Merlion India Fund exited the stakes in Punj Loyd in 2006 and 2007. According to earlier reports, Merlion has made returns of 9X (including unrealised stakes) on its Rs 140 crore investment. Merlion India Fund is a private equity fund sponsored by Standard Chartered Private Equity and Temasek Holdings, and was headed by Butalia. According to the shareholding data as of December 2008, Merlion India Fund III still owns 3.19% in Punj Lloyd.

Butalia, 55, completed his MBA from Hull University in Britain in 1994-95. He also received his degrees in Economics from Delhi School of Economics and St Stephens College. He worked with Standard Chartered Bank from March 2002 to January 2008. Prior to StanChart, Butalia was with Citibank from 1978 to 2002. According to his LinkedIn profile, he is currently an independent investment management professional.  

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