(Bloomberg) -- Barclays Plc has hired Kunal Ahuja from Standard Chartered Plc as head of mergers and acquisitions in Southeast Asia as the lender seeks to bolster its share of the region’s dealmaking boom, according to people familiar with the matter.

Ahuja will start at Barclays later this year after serving a gardening leave period, the people said, asking not to be identified because the matter is private. He will continue to be based in Singapore, the people said.

The executive director at StanChart in Singapore had worked at the lender for more than 11 years, according to his LinkedIn profile. He also had previous stints at Cooperatieve Rabobank UA and Fidelity Investments.

Ahuja’s hiring follows that of Ee Ching Tay who joined Barclays as head of Southeast Asia banking from JPMorgan Chase & Co. earlier this year, Bloomberg News has reported.

The volume of M&A targeting companies in Southeast Asia has soared to about $62 billion this year, representing a 65% increase from a year earlier, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Some of the biggest deals include the merger between ride-hailing and payments giant Gojek and e-commerce pioneer PT Tokopedia, and the agreement between Axiata Group Bhd. and Norway’s Telenor ASA to combine their Malaysian mobile operations.

Ahuja and representatives for Barclays and Standard Chartered declined to comment.

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