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Sebi may appoint three EDs shortly

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SEBI

MUMBAI: The Securities and Exchange Board of India is likely to appoint two external candidates and one internal employee as its executive directors (EDs) shortly .

According to sources, Gyan Bhushan, a 1993-batch Indian Economic Service officer, RS Srivastav, an Indian Revenue Service officer, and Amarjeet Singh, an executive assistant to the chairman, are seen as frontrunners to be appointed as EDs for a term of three years. Sources said that shortlisted candidates are likely to be interviewed next week.

Both Bhushan and Srivastav were brought in by Sebi chief UK Sinha as chief general managers. Bhushan was subsequently elevated to the post of executive director (ED) in charge of integrated surveillance department, while Srivastav is the head of the enforcement department. Bhushan has already completed his term as ED at Sebi and is ready for reappointment.

Both Bhushan and Srivastav were brought in by Sebi chief UK Sinha as chief general managers. Bhushan was subsequently elevated to the post of executive director (ED) in charge of integrated surveillance department, while Srivastav is the head of the enforcement department. Bhushan has already completed his term as ED at Sebi and is ready for reappointment.

Some of the Sebi officials feel the new appointments should be put on hold so that the new chairman gets an opportunity to pick up his team. Besides, it is also not good governance practice as the incumbent has only few weeks left to finish his term.

โ€œThe best practice would be to delay the appointments for a few weeks, so that chairman-designate has a say on the new appointments,โ€œ said Sandeep Parekh, founder, Finsec Law Advisors.

In the past too, former chairmen had hired experts from outside but their tenure was co-terminus with the chairman. M Damodaran had brought in Sandeep Parekh as EDlegal during his term. Likewise, CB Bhave hired JN Gupta, KN Vaidyanathan. He also brought in IPS officer Pradnya Saravade to lead the investigation team.

Sebi for long has been following the practice of lateral hiring. In recent times, this has led to unhappiness within the organisation as some of the Sebi officials felt that this has impacted their growth within the organisation.

The Sebi Employee Association representing over 600 employees had also filed a petition before the Bombay High Court saying lateral hiring instead of promoting internal candidates was impacting their morale and violating regulations. The court, however, dismissed the petition saying that Sebi has the power to hire outside candidates. An old Sebi rule on recruitments say that 50% of the executive directors should be from outside, while 50% from within the organisation.

โ€œSince there is no dearth of talge-old provisions ent in-house, the age-old provisions in Sebi employee regulations require a thorough re-look at many aspects. Unlike other PSUs, transfers and promotions are also not appealable before the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT). The government’s attention to the regulation of regulatory services is the need of the hour,โ€œ said Sumit Agarwal, partner, Suvan Law Advisors.

At present. there are six EDs–S Ravindran is in charge of investigation and intermediaries supervision, PK Nagpal looks after corporate finance, Anantha Baruah handles investment management, SV Murali Dhar Rao looks at market regulation and surveillance, J Ranganayakulu is ED-legal, while SK Mohanty is in charge of the commodities division.

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