A month ago, Kaku Nakhate went to the US for a 14-city trip to discuss with clients the key changes that happened in India, including demonetisation, digitisation and the introduction of Goods and Services Tax (GST). "These meetings help our clients get a first-hand view of India and you engage a lot better with them and that helps you guide your India teams," she explains.
That kind of global platform and client stickiness are the key reasons why BofA has a consistent track record of profitable Indian operations. Nakhate's biggest deals included Aditya Birla Nuvo-Grasim merger (sole advisor to Grasim), Fairfax upping stake in Bengaluru airport (she advised GVK, the operator), and the Vodafone-Idea merger (advisor to Vodafone). There was a lot of bad publicity when AB Nuvo-Grasim merger was announced but eventually, over 95 per cent shareholders voted in its favour.
Nakhate, who has Bharti Airtel as a client, also handled the Vodafone-Idea merger. "That (conflict management) is the toughest part of my job. But everything boils down to relationship and trust," she says. Other achievements were ICICI Prudential Life Insurance's IPO and QIPs of SBI, Kotak Mahindra Bank and Yes Bank. Nakhate is now taking general insurer ICICI Lombard to the capital market. She is also betting on the structural changes post demonetisation and GST. "There are more inflows in mutual funds, which could help bond markets in the future," she says.