SVB India Execs Prep Separate Fund

Executives from the SVB India Advisors arm of Silicon Valley Bank are breaking off to establish a new fund called Saama Capital, according to several news reports.

A report in LiveMint.com stated Ash Lilani and Suresh Shanmugham would be among Saama Capital’s managers.

Earlier reports of the news were responded to by a SVB flak who, without confirming or denying the reports, pointed out that SVB maintains a lending operation in India and is pursuing a banking license.

The LiveMint report on SVB’s staff losses suggested the U.S. bank could come under pressure from regulators thanks to the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, which has forced other banking institutions to hastily jettison their investing arms.

However, investing in Asia has increased lately, and private equity and venture capital firms alike are intent on making deals in India. When it revealed earlier this year it raised a fund of about $1.6 billion, VC Bessemer Venture Partners acknowledged it would commit hundreds of millions of dollars to deals in India.

SVB isn’t the first American investor to find its foreign ranks rankled by departures in 2011. Earlier this year, Sequoia Capital India executives who came to the VC through its 2006 merger with Westbridge Capital Partners broke off from the international investor.