NSE begins searching for MD, CEO, invites applications

Leading exchange NSE, which has faced allegations of governance failures, has begun the search for a new chief executive officer as acting boss Vikram Limaye’s five-year tenure ends in July.

The exchange has invited applications from candidates with IPO (initial public offering) experience for the top post role before March 25, according to a public notice released on Friday.

Mr. Limaye is eligible for one additional term. However, according to the SEBI rule, the incumbent must compete with other candidates to win the next term.

He was appointed head of the NSE in July 2017 following the departure of the exchange’s former executive director and CEO, Chitra Ramkrishna. In addition to various allegations, questions have been raised from various quarters as to why no application was invited at the time of Ms. Ramkrishna’s appointment as MD and CEO in 2013.

Mr. Limaye is credited with rebranding the NSE. Derivatives trading experienced tremendous growth under his leadership. However, there was also a stock exchange failure last year due to technical problems.

The NSE notice detailed the eligibility criteria and stated that the candidate must have a track record of strengthening corporate governance, enterprise risk management and the compliance management framework.

Additionally, candidates who have experience working in a public company or have led an organization through an IPO “will be an added benefit,” she added.

The NSE has long planned to come out with its first stock sale. However, the plan to go public fell through after the exchange became embroiled in a colocation controversy that allegedly gave certain brokers unfair access to the exchange’s data feeds to other members.

After the deadline, candidates will be shortlisted by the Company’s Nominations and Compensation Committee.

A selection committee appointed by the NSE and made up of NRC members and the independent outside members will propose candidates to the board, which will then forward the name to SEBI for final approval.

The National Stock Exchange (NSE) faces a regulatory probe into a case of governance misconduct and the colocation matter.

In a recent order, the regulator penalized former NSE MDs and CEOs, Ramkrishna, Ravi Narain and others, for various violations in a case involving the appointment of Anand Subramanian as group operating officer and adviser to then MD Ramkrishna.

The regulator revealed in its order that Ms. Ramkrishna was guided by a yogi who lived in the Himalayan ranges in appointing Mr. Subramanian. She was also accused of sharing confidential information, including the exchange’s financial and business plans, dividend scenario and financial results, with the yogi and even consulting the yogi on the performance reviews of the exchange’s employees.

According to Ms. Ramkrishna, the yogi was a “spiritual force who could manifest anywhere it chose and who had no physical or spatial coordinates and lived mostly in the Himalayan mountains”.

The emails exchanged between the yogi and Ms. Ramkrishna also indicated that NSE was planning a self-listing, the order found.

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