Axis Capital, the investment banking arm of India’s third-largest private-sector bank, has given additional responsibility to Deepak Sharma, who has been co-leading the merger and acquisition (M&A) team at the firm.
Sharma has been named as the new chief of the financial sponsor group that deals with alternative investment fund transactions, or deals covering private equity and venture capital segments.
Sharma is an alumnus of IIT Delhi and IIM Calcutta. He started his career at Arthur Andersen before moving to Rabobank in the M&A advisory field. He then joined Lazard and spent over a decade at the firm before moving to join Axis Capital as managing director and head of M&A in 2016.
Axis Capital counts two managing directors in its M&A advisory unit. Besides Sharma, Lalit Ratadia leads the team.
The financial sponsor group was previously led by Sandeep Gupta.
Axis Capital, which was bolstered by Axis Bank’s acquisition of Enam several years ago, offers institutional equities, structured finance and equity capital markets services including IPOs. It also a transaction advisory business.
It is particularly strong with the ECM business and M&A advisory fields.
While the firm has also been active on PE deals in the past, it is known more for its strength in M&A advisory services. Of the 64 transactions that the investment banking firm advised between 2015 and 2020, around three-fourths were related to M&As.
Since the time Sharma joined the M&A advisory unit, Axis Capital has handled deals such as Larsen & Toubro’s hostile takeover of software services company Mindtree; UltraTech’s acquisition of Century Textiles’ cement business and the merger of Max India and hospital chain Radiant Life Care.