Home SMARTPHONE Udayan Bose: The affable deal maker of the ‘90s

Udayan Bose: The affable deal maker of the ‘90s

Udayan Bose: The affable deal maker of the ‘90s


Known for his networking skills and relationships with some of the biggest names of Corporate India, Bose led the Indian arm of Lazard, the international financial services house.

Udayan Bose

MUMBAI: Udayan Bose, the affable deal maker of the ‘90s — an era when a rich contact-book and trustworthiness of an investment banker mattered more than financial clout — died in Mumbai on Wednesday. He was 71.

Bose is survived by his wife, daughter, and two sons.

Known for his networking skills and relationships with some of the biggest names of Corporate India, Bose led the Indian arm of Lazard, the international financial services house.

The RPG takeover of HMV, the joint venture between Rediffusion and Dentsu, Young & Rubicam, and Zuari Cement’s bid for Sree Vishnu Cement were among the deals where he acted as advisor.

One of the early names in merchant banking — the term for investment banking in the ‘70s and ‘80s — Bose was part of the merchant banking division of Grindlays, which was then an influential foreign bank and a training ground for many bankers.

He later became the regional director of Grindlays Asia Pacific and director in the Asia operations of Deutsche Bank. In the mid-80s, he ventured out to strike a tie-up with Lazard to set up his own shop — making him the first to rope in a large foreign I-bank as a partner in India.

After 20 years, Bose sold his stake to Lazard amid speculation of differences with Bruce Wasserstein, the American investment banker and writer who became the head of Lazard.

Uday Kotak, who has seen the city’s capital market evolve since the ‘80s, has great memories of Bose. “I met him in the European Asian Bank, which later became Deutsche Bank. After Deutsche, he brought over a broking firm – Merwanji Bomanji and Dalal and partnered with Lazard. An original merchant banker and a professional turned entrepreneur…. Time flies.. will miss him,” said Kotak.

A raconteur who used to narrate some of the untold stories in a baritone voice, Bose was active in the social media — often noticed for his outspoken tweets on politics. “He was a people’s person.. there was a warm atmosphere in the workplace,” said long-time colleague Ravi Rangachari.

In 2004, after leaving Lazard, he had set up Tamara Capital Advisors, and at one point planned to aquire one of the old private sector banks. It didn’t work out.

Bose was chairman of the Calcutta Stock Exchange in 2008/09.

A student of Presidency College, Kolkata, Bose, grew up in a middle-class family. He never forgot his roots, though he rarely spoke about his early life. When a journalist got a whiff of his appointment in a senior panel of Lazard Global, Bose requested him if it was possible to carry a small photograph in the Kolkata edition of the newspaper as it would make his mother happy. “Well, I couldn’t say, no. He was a good guy, a great source,” recalls the senior reporter.

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2 Comments on this Story

Rajiv Saxena1 day ago

I was fortunate to have worked under him and learnt a lot of what I know today from him. Mr Bose was a strong relationship banker and was clearly ahead of his time in many of his ideas and initiatives. In his relaxed and lighter moments it was a great time listening ro his corporate anecdotes. While the banking world will miss him , for many of us who had the privilege of working with him , his passing is a big personal loss . RIP Mr Bose..

Prakash Ramiah1 day ago

Merwanjee boomanjee dalal ,0ne of the oldest share broking firm and pioneers in Indian call money market,and bond market dealers ,f ex broking was took over by him after his tenure in grindlays bank,if I remember.young stock brokers need to read autobiography of such indian stock brokers,broking firms …broking should be in blood like a weighing scale if you want both seller and buyer get the best valuation.my prayers and let him rest in peace.

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