Indian American investment banker dies in plane crash

Rakesh Chawla

NEW YORK: Rakesh Chawla, an Indian American investment banker, was killed when the private plane he was traveling in along with his co-worker and family, crashed in New Jersey on Dec 20.
The plane took off from the Teterboro Airport and was flying to DeKalb Peachtree Airport near Atlanta, Georgia when it apparently lost contact with a Federal Aviation Administration radio tower in New York. The two Greenhill executives were traveling for business meetings.
Chawla, a Managing Director of Greenhill & Co. in New York was on board a small private plane owned by Jeffrey Buckalew, also a Managing Director at Greenhill, who was piloting the plane. Buckalew’s wife Corinne and his two young children, Jackson and Meriwether also perished in the crash.
The Socata TBM 700 plane – a single engine turbo prop – crashed onto the middle of one of New Jersey’s busiest highways, exploded violently and killed all five people on board, about 14 minutes into its flight, as the aircraft spiraled out of control and crashed on Route 287 in the town of Harding, New Jersey. Buckalew was the registered owner of the single-engine plane and had a pilot’s license. He was piloting the plane.
Regretting the death of two of its managing directors, Greenhill & Co., Inc. said the firm had no further information regarding the crash at this time.
Robert F. Greenhill, Chairman and Scott Bok, Chief Executive Officer, jointly commented that, “The firm is in deep mourning over the tragic and untimely death of two of its esteemed colleagues and members of Jeff’s family. Jeff was one of the first employees of Greenhill. He and Rakesh were extraordinary professionals who were highly respected by colleagues and clients alike. They will be sorely missed and our sympathies go out to their families and friends.”
Buckalew, age 45, was Head of Greenhill’s North American Advisory activities. Prior to joining Greenhill in 1996 Jeff was an Associate for three years in the financial institutions group at Salomon Brothers.
Chawla, age 36, was a Managing Director who specialized in the financial services sector. He had joined the firm in 2003 from The Blackstone Group, where he focused on mergers & acquisitions and restructuring transactions. He began his career in investment banking at Credit Suisse First Boston, where we worked in the financial institutions, M&A and technology groups.
Chawla received a BS from The McIntire School of Commerce at the University of Virginia and an MBA from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.
India Post News Service

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