Tuesday, Oct 04, 2022
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Done My Best To Lead NSE In Difficult Period, Says Outgoing Chief Vikram Limaye

Limaye, whose five-year term ended on Saturday, did not seek another tenure at the National Stock Exchange (NSE) despite being eligible for it

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The end of Limaye's five-year term as the NSE chief comes amid the NSE facing the regulatory probe in a case pertaining to governance lapses at the bourse as well as in the co-location matter

NSE's outgoing Managing Director and CEO Vikram Limaye on Saturday said he has done his best to lead the exchange in a very "difficult period" and to stabilize and strengthen the bourse.

Limaye, whose five-year term ended on Saturday, did not seek another tenure at the National Stock Exchange (NSE) despite being eligible for it.

However, the exchange did not announce who is taking over the helm of the NSE from Limaye.

According to a source, instead of an individual, a committee will be taking the charge for an interim period. The exchange is likely to announce a decision in this regard on Monday.

The end of Limaye's five-year term as the NSE chief comes amid the NSE facing the regulatory probe in a case pertaining to governance lapses at the bourse as well as in the co-location matter.

"I complete my 5-year term as MD and CEO of NSE today. I have done my best to lead the organization in a very difficult period and to stabilise, strengthen and transform NSE," Limaye said.

The outgoing chief said, "We have come a long way in the last five years in terms of strengthening governance, controls, technology, regulatory effectiveness, risk management, market growth and culture".

On March 4, NSE invited applications from candidates for the role of MD and CEO. The applications were invited from candidates having IPO (initial public offering) experience for the role of the top post before March 25.

Following this, Limaye announced that he would not seek a second term at the stock exchange when his five-year term ends in July.

Under the market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India's rule, the incumbent needs to compete with other candidates to win the next term.

Limaye was appointed as the NSE chief in July 2017, following the exit of the exchange's former MD and CEO Chitra Ramkrishna. Among various allegations, issues have been raised in various quarters that why an application was not invited at the time when Ramkrishna was appointed as the MD and CEO in 2013.

Before joining the NSE, Limaye was MD and CEO of IDFC. The outgoing chief, Limaye, is credited with re-branding the NSE, besides trading in derivatives witnessed tremendous growth under his leadership.

During Limaye's tenure, the exchange's revenues surged from Rs 2,681 crore in FY17 to Rs 8,500 crore in FY22 and net profit climbed from Rs 1,219 crore to Rs 4,400 crore during the same period. Further, the company's return on equity increased from 17 per cent to 34 per cent during the period under review.

Also, NSE managed to increase its market share in all segments of business, including currency futures and options and equity futures and options.

While inviting applications from candidates for the top job at NSE, the exchange had said that the candidate must have a track record of strengthening corporate governance, enterprise risk management and compliance management framework.

In addition, the candidates with exposure to working in a publicly-listed company or having led an organisation through an initial public offering process "will be an added advantage", it had added.

The NSE is planning to come out with its initial share sale for a long. However, the plan to go public derailed after the bourse got embroiled in colocation controversy, where certain brokers were allegedly given unfair access to the exchange data feeds over other members.

Following the deadline, the nominations and remuneration committee (NRC) of the company was given the task to shortlist candidates.

A selection committee set up by the NSE, comprising NRC members and the independent external members, will have to recommend candidates to the board, which will then send the name to Sebi for final approval.

In a recent order, Sebi penalised the NSE's former MDs and CEOs, Ramkrishna and Ravi Narain, and others for various violations in a case related to the appointment of Anand Subramanian as group operating officer and advisor to then MD Ramkrishna.

The regulator in its order revealed that Ramkrishna was steered by a "yogi" dwelling in the Himalayan ranges in the appointment of Subramanian.

Also, she was accused of sharing confidential information, including the bourse's financial and business plans, dividend scenario and financial results with the yogi, and even consulting the yogi over the performance appraisals of the exchange's employees.

The "yogi", according to Ramkrishna, was a "spiritual force that could manifest itself anywhere it wanted and did not have any physical or locational coordinates and largely dwelt in the Himalayan range".

Besides, the emails exchanged between Yogi and Ramkrishna referred that NSE was planning for a self listing, the order found.

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