The final interview for market regulator SEBI’s four whole-time members may be held in Delhi on September 11. Indianmandarins had reported last month that as many as a dozen officers from different sectors were shortlisted.
It is now learnt that SEBI’s former executive director Ranganayakulu, current officials SK Mohanty and Ananta Barua, and Ashwani Kumar, the Chairman & Managing Director of Mumbai-based Dena Bank have emerged as front-runners for the posts.
SEBI has three WTM posts and one will fall vacant in September when S Raman, who handles the legal and investigation departments, retires. The other departments under Raman include Corporate Finance, Special Enforcement Cell, and Commodity Derivatives. Former SEBI WTM Rajeev Agarwal, whose name was also shortlisted, is said to have been dropped from the list of those being called for interview.
In the recent past, SEBI has favored officials from the banking sector for some of its top posts. The current WTM Raman was earlier CMD at Canara Bank. Another WTM, Madhabi Puri-Buch, is an ICICI Bank veteran of nearly two decades. Her last job before joining SEBI was with the New Development Bank in Shanghai.
SEBI’s third WTM, G Mahalingam, who was appointed in 2016, was earlier an executive director with the RBI.
Apart from the knowledge of banking system, SEBI WTMs, who are also appointees on the regulator’s board, need knowledge of equity and commodity markets. But currently, there is none on the SEBI board who has been directly associated with the capital markets for many years.
The current Chairman of SEBI is career bureaucrat. He last worked with the Finance Ministry as Additional Secretary (Investment) in the Department of Economic Affairs. Other members of the SEBI board too are all either bankers or career bureaucrats, including Shaktikanta Das, Secretary, DEA, Tapan Ray, Secretary, Corporate Affairs Ministry, and NS Vishwanathan, Deputy Governor, RBI.