Mumbai: The board of ICICI Bank Ltd, India’s largest private sector bank, is due to meet on Monday to discuss the restructuring of its top management after naming Chanda Kochhar last month to replace chief executive officer and managing director K.V. Kamath.
A final decision and announcement of the new executives to be included in the top management team and on the bank’s board are expected in mid-January when the board meets to announce its quarterly financial results.
Managing change: An ICICI Bank branch in Defence Colony, Delhi. A final decision on the new executives to be included in the top management team and on the bank’s board is expected in mid-January. Rajeev Dabral / Mint
Senior officials at the bank, however, said it will take some time before the board decides on who will be Kochhar’s second-in-command, or joint managing director, once she takes over from Kamath on 1 May.
“The board is expected to take some time before they take the final call on the post of joint managing director. At present, Sonjoy Chatterjee, executive director, is the front-runner for this post,” said a senior executive at the bank.
He didn’t want to be named because the matter is still under consideration by the board.
Kochhar, who is now joint managing director and chief financial officer, and her team will have the task of leading the institution through a downturn in the global economy that’s causing Indian companies to stall investment plans and consumers to slow spending. After averaging annual growth of 8.9% in the past four years, India’s economy is expected to expand by 7-8% in 2008-09, according to the government.
The bank has three executive directors: Chatterjee, who is responsible for corporate and investment banking, government banking and international banking business; Madhabi Puri Buch, who oversees the global markets business that includes treasury solutions for clients, as well as operations and transaction processing for retail, corporate, international and rural banking and is also chief brand officer; and V. Vaidyanathan, who looks after retail, small-and-medium enterprises, and rural banking.
N.S. Kannan, executive director of ICICI Prudential Life Insurance Co. Ltd, will be appointed chief financial officer of the bank and is also expected to be inducted into the bank board on a later date, the same ICICI Bank executive said. Kannan seems to have scored over Vishakha Mulye, executive director of ICICI Lombard General Insurance Co. Ltd, in terms of seniority and experience, the executive said.
Kannan, who has been with the group for at least 15 years, came to ICICI Prudential from ICICI Bank, where he was chief financial officer and treasurer. He first joined the ICICI group as a project officer, and has handled project finance operations, infrastructure financing, structured finance and treasury operations.
Buch will likely become managing director of ICICI Securities Ltd, the equities arm of the group, the executive said. “This appointment will be effective after S. Mukherji, managing director and chief executive officer (of ICICI Securities) retires,” he added. Mukherji declined to comment.
K. Ram Kumar, group chief human resources officer, will also be elevated as executive director (human resources) and get a place on the bank board, said the ICICI Bank executive. All new appointments will be effective from 1 May when Kochhar assumes charge.
In an email response to questions sent by Mint, ICICI Bank spokesman Charudatta Deshpande said: “We do not comment on speculative reports.”
In a 19 December interview to Mint, Kochhar had hinted at the possibility of a reshuffle that would include moving executives from the group companies to the bank.
“We have the advantage of a large talent pool across the group. We treat the entire group as one resource pool. The possibility of getting somebody from a group company (at a senior level) also exists,” Kochhar had said at the time.