NSE selects Vikram Limaye as new CEO and MD

New Delhi: Vikram Limaye will be the new managing director and chief executive officer (MD & CEO) of the National Stock Exchange of India, said two people with direct knowledge of the matter. Limaye was chosen by a selection panel and his appointment approved by the board of India’s largest stock exchange on Friday, they said.

The appointment of Limaye, 50, currently CEO and MD of IDFC Ltd, an infrastructure financing firm, will have to be cleared by the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi), the people said on condition of anonymity.

Limaye will succeed Chitra Ramkrishna, who left NSE owing to personal reasons on 2 December, a little more than a year before her tenure was to end. Following her resignation, the board of NSE appointed Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd chairman Anand Mahindra, former Reserve Bank of India governor Usha Thorat, founder of Dhruva Advisors LLP Dinesh Kanabar and former director on the board of Infosys Ltd Mohandas Pai to choose Ramkrishna’s successor.

J Ravichandran, who used to serve as group president of finance and legal and company secretary at the NSE, was named the interim MD and CEO. He will serve in the position until Limaye takes charge.

NSE would send Limaye’s name to Sebi for clearance next week and a formal announcement would be made only after the regulator’s approval, said one of the two people cited earlier.

An NSE spokesperson declined to comment. A text message sent to Limaye was not answered.

Limaye, who will be the first NSE CEO from outside the founding team that set up the exchange in the 1990s, will have his hands full at the helm.

The stock exchange has filed a draft prospectus with the regulator for an initial public offering after a long battle with existing shareholders who had wanted the bourse to list earlier.

Secondly, Sebi is currently examining allegations against the NSE that it gave preferential and unfair access to some brokers on its algorithmic trading platform. Sebi is also studying a forensic audit report on this issue prepared by Deloitte India.

In January, Limaye was named to a four-member committee formed by the Supreme Court to manage the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI). The move was part of the court’s efforts to reform the administration of cricket.

“Limaye will have to consider whether his commitments at BCCI do not pose a distraction to his work at NSE,” said JN Gupta, co-founder and managing director of Stakeholder Empowerment Services, a proxy advisory firm. “Considering the allegations against NSE, Limaye will have to take the team along with him to ensure that the issues are resolved and NSE’s reputation, if at all, (it) suffered a dent, should be restored.”

Limaye has served as the head of IDFC for four years. A chartered accountant with a master’s degree in business administration, Limaye started his career with Arthur Andersen in Mumbai in 1987. He has worked in the audit and business advisory services groups of Arthur Andersen and Ernst & Young and the consumer banking groups of Citibank and Credit Suisse.

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