Goldman Sachs has appointed Ajay Sondhi as a managing director for private wealth management in Southeast Asia. Sondhi joins Goldman from Citigroup where he was heading the unit overseeing rich Indian clients. He will be based in Singapore, reports Retuers.  

Overseas investment banks are increasing their focus on the wealth management business and are  hiring top executives from other banks to grow this business. Earlier this month Credit Suisse appointed Sai Tampi to grow Credit Suisse's wealth management business in India and the South Asian markets. Last month Barclays Wealth appointed Nitin Birla as Head of Hong Kong desk, South Asia, in a move to tap into the burgeoning potential of the South Asian HNI community in North Asia.

At Citigroup, Sondhi was based in Singapore heading the Global India unit that oversaw resident and non-resident Indian millionaires. Citigroup has confirmed Sondhi's resignation and Anuratna Chadha, a 17 year old veteran banker who was earlier reporting to Sondhi has assumed responsibilities in his place.  

Prior to joining Citigroup in 2005, Sondhi was working for three years as vice chairman and managing director of Kotak Mahindra Capital Company (a JV between Kotak and Goldman). Having 20 years of experience in banking industry, Sondhi has earlier worked with UBS Warburg as managing director and country head for India, Barclays Bank/BZW as group CEO for India, Salomon Brothers - Hong Kong and Citibank NA India. 

A few months ago Goldman had roped in Kaven Leung from Citigroup to appoint him as deputy head of Asia private wealth. According to London-based consultant Scorpio Partnership, Goldman's private wealth management had $219 billion worth of assets globally at the end of 2007, though its Asia numbers remain undisclosed.

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