Several high-profile investment bankers opted to stay out of the dealmaking business to join more strategic roles in the last 12-18 months, despite record M&A volumes and a frenzy IPO year that resulted in record fee collection for dealmakers.
The move was more evident in the pharma sector, where the pandemic opened up a plethora of consolidation and fundraising opportunities.
More than a dozen top bankers moved to strategic and M&A roles in pharmaceutical companies, spearheading mergers and acquisitions as well as fundraising plans. They included Nitin Tandon, who joined as head of business development, Asia Pacific, at Johnson & Johnson from Credit Suisse. Moelis & Co’s Ashish Mukkirwar joined Glenmark to head its strategy and M&A team, while very recently, a prolific pharmaceuticals banker at O3 Capital, Gawir Baig, moved to play the role of a chief financial officer at Anthem Biosciences, a drug discovery platform in which True North recently invested. V Krishnakumar was another high-profile move; he left EY after a long tenure of consistent healthcare M&A closures to join Eris Life Sciences as its chief operating officer.
“Pharma is seeing a lot of M&A and fundraise activity, leading to demand I-banking talent in these companies,” said Anshul Lodha, regional director at recruitment firm Page Group. “I-bankers are also keen to switch to the corporate side to get more well-rounded exposure than just fundraising. They get actively involved in the operational side of the business with corporates which is a great role enhancement for them,” Lodha said.
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