Indian-American Wall Street executive killed in shark attack in Costa Rica

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Rohina Bhandari, who died from a shark attack off the coast of Costa Rica while scuba diving Nov. 30. (Photo: LinkedIn)

An Indian-American woman who was an executive in a Wall Street private equity firm died from severe shark bites off the coast of Costa Rica where she went scuba diving with a tour group.

Rohina Bhandari, senior director of marketing and investor relations at W L Ross & Co. LLC, (according relationshipscience.com), was killed Nov. 30, off the coast of Isla del Coco, a remote island, reported the New York Daily News quoting Costa Rica’s Environment Ministry sources.

When Bhandari’s body was pulled out of the waters, she had sustained severe injuries to her legs, and could not be saved despite desperate efforts by Park guards and medical personnel, the report said. The shark appears to have attacked the group as it was surfacing at the end of a dive, according to the dive master who was also bitten by the shark but survived the attack. Another boater in the area as well as the other divers unsuccessfully tried to drive the killer shark away, the Daily News report said.

Bhandari was one of a group of 18 divers at the Cocos Island National Park, a World Heritage Site known to be the habitat of sharks, according to the news report.

The senior director at W L Ross lived on the Upper East Side in Manhattan, and was involved with charitable work, the Daily News reported also quoted Facebook entries where several friends mourned Bhandari’s death and remembered her for her kindness and warmth.

Bhandari joined W L Ross in 2013, prior to which she was with Pine Bridge Investments as managing director of institutional sales from 2004 to 2012, according to LinkedIn. From 1998 to 2003 she was with Credit Suisse holding different positions.

She earned a Master of Finance degree from George Washington University in Washington, D.C., where she received the “Leadership Award” for 2001-2002. She also had a Masters in Business Management from the Asian Institute of Management in Philippines. According to Zoominfo.com, Bhandari also had a Bachelor of Commerce degree from Bangalore University.

Zoominfo also contains an entry which says Bhandari was director of the US-India Business Council, “where she led a policy group that helped remove key obstacles to US private equity investing in India.”