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Kaku Nakhate: Go-to Investment Banker

Kaku Nakhate: Go-to Investment Banker

Getting more Indian unicorns, decacorns to tap public markets

Kaku Nakhate, 55, Bank of America Kaku Nakhate, 55, Bank of America

For Kaku Nakhate, the biggest turning point of her career was managing the merger between Bank of America and Merrill Lynch. “When I rejoined Bank of America as India CEO in 2010 after the global merger with Merrill Lynch, I had to oversee the entire merger process and also lead the bank… That was a major turning point for me,” says Nakhate, who has earlier worked with DSP Merrill Lynch and JPMorgan. Under Nakhate’s watch, Bank of America has helped Indian entities raise more than $60 billion over the past decade. And in the past one year or so, she has made the bank the go-to banker for unicorns and for foreign investors looking to invest in the Indian market—she facilitated Facebook’s $5.7-billion investment in Reliance Jio last year. What next? “ESG is the biggest focus area for us in India. We are leaders in the renewable energy and electric vehicles space,” she says.