Ex-WL Ross senior director dies in Costa Rica shark attack

  • Bhandari was senior director at WL Ross until October
  • Fatally bitten while surfacing from a dive
  • Previously with PineBridge Investments, Credit Suisse

Rohina Bhandari, until recently a senior director at private equity firm WL Ross & Co, was killed by a shark while scuba diving off the coast of Costa Rica, the firm confirmed.

“We were saddened to learn of the death of our friend and colleague Rohina,” a spokesperson for Invesco, which owns WL Ross, wrote in an email, adding that Bhandari left the firm in October.

WL Ross was founded by U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross.

According to the Costa Rican newspaper La Nación, a female tiger shark attacked Bhandari, 49, in the waters of Isla del Coco National Park. Bhandari was part of a group of 18 tourists visiting the area with a company called Undersea Hunter Group.

The shark struck as the group surfaced at the end of a dive, leaving deep bites on Bhandari’s legs. The guide, who tried to scare it off, sustained serious wounds to one leg. He survived after a boater helped repel the attack.

Two park rangers and several vacationing doctors came to their assistance, but Bhandari was declared dead at the scene.

According to her LinkedIn page, which lists achievements including $1.2 billion in alternative investments raised, Bhandari started at WL Ross in October 2013. She was previously managing director for institutional sales at PineBridge Investments (formerly AIG Investments), and began her career at Credit Suisse.

The Bangalore Mirror identified Bhandari as a native of Bengaluru, India. She received an MBA from Asian Institute of Management in the Philippines before returning home to work in a five-star hotel, then left again to get a master’s in finance from George Washington University.

A resident of Manhattan’s Upper East Side, Bhandari was a fixture on the city’s charity scene, the New York Daily News reported.

Action Item: See Rohina Bhandari’s LinkedIn page here.

Cocos Island, or Isla del Coco, located in the the Pacific offshore Costa Rica. Photo courtesy of Lifethrills/iStock/Getty Images