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MUMBAI : The Centre on Wednesday filled the five month vacant post of Whole Time Member at Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) with banker Ashwani Bhatia. 

Bhatia who is currently serving as the managing director-stressed assets and Information Technology at State Bank of India has been appointed for an initial period of three years. 

This is the second appointment in March from the centre following Madhabi Puri Buch’s appointment as the Chairperson of Sebi. 

Typically a Sebi board comprises one WTM member with banking experience. Previously the requirement was filled up by G Mahalingam, former executive director of Reserve Bank of India (RBI). His tenure ended in November last year, since then this post was vacant. 

Buch, the current Sebi chairperson, tenure as Sebi whole time member has ended in October last year. 

Bhatia started his career with State Bank of India in 1985 as a probationary officer. During his 35 years of experience in the bank, he has worked in various states.

He has worked for more than 35 years in SBI and held various key positions.

He has held key positions in the bank, including chief general manager - SME, general manager (heading retail operations of Haryana, HP, Jammu & Kashmir, Punjab, and Chandigarh) and various others in network banking, credit, investment banking and asset management.

He has also worked as President and Chief Operating Officer (COO) of SBI Capital Markets Limited.

Even with Bhatia’s appointment, the centre needs to appoint one more member, to ensure that the Sebi board is complete. 

Earlier in the day, the Centre had nominated two Secretary-level officials to the board of the Sebi as part time members. These include Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA) Secretary Rajesh Verma in place of KVR Murty, Joint Secretary, Ajay Seth, secretary in the Department of Economic Affairs (DEA). 

These appointments mark a shift and change in the senior management of Sebi. This shuffle comes at a time when Sebi has been facing criticism and questions from the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in NSE’s colocation case as well as governance lapses. . 

The Sebi board has nine members, including the Chairperson. There are two government nominees and one RBI nominee (usually a Deputy Governor). Besides the four wholetime members Sebi there is also a public interest member forming a part of the Board.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Priyanka Gawande

Priyanka Gawande is a senior legal correspondent at Mint. She has worked as legal reporter for four years with both television and digital mediums. Based in Mumbai, she reports on disputes across sectors including banking, corporates and finance. This also includes insolvency and bankruptcy cases and intellectual property rights (IPR) litigation. Her focus also comprises tracking capital markets and disputes relating to securities law. Previously, Priyanka worked with Informist Media for 2.5 years covering major insolvency and bankruptcy cases and corporate developments. She started her career in journalism with Business Television India (BTVi) where she reported on primary markets, banking, finance and insurance companies.
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