Home / Companies / News /  Adar Poonawalla-controlled Magma Fincorp names Vijay Deshwal as new CEO

After appointing Adar Poonawalla as the Chairman, Magma Fincorp Ltd, the financial services arm of the Poonawalla Group, announced Tuesday that it has also appointed Vijay Deshwal as Group CEO.

Deshwal is currently a business head at ICICI Bank responsible for the fast-growing services business segment. He will take charge at Magma Fincorp in the first week of July.

Poonawalla Group recently acquired a controlling stake in Magma Fincorp by an equity infusion of 3,456 crores through its holding company Rising Sun Holdings in May 2021.

The Adar Poonawala-controlled Rising Sun Holdings, the financial services arm of the group known globally for its vaccines, had completed the acquisition of the city-based non-bank lender earlier this month. He is also the CEO of Pune-based vaccine manufacturing company Serum Institute of India

Vijay Deshwal, is a post-graduate from Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad (IIM-A), is a seasoned banker with experience of over two decades across banking, corporate finance, international business and operations. He has a track record of growing businesses with an overall approach of customer centricity and profitability.

Deshwal has handled pan-India financial institutions, including NBFCs for over six years, and has a vast understanding of various asset classes, cyclicity of these businesses and the key success factors for creating profitable financial services businesses.

Previously, Deshwal headed the debt syndication business for ICICI Bank for over five years and brings with him rich experience of debt capital markets and large fundraising.

"We are confident that Vijay Deshwal, with his extensive experience and knowledge across various facets of banking and financial services, will drive the transformation and charter a new phase of growth for the amalgamated entity under the brand of Poonawalla," Abhay Bhutada, MD Magma Fincorp, said in a statement.

The board of Magma appointed Adar Poonawalla as the Chairman while Abhay Bhutada, who is the Chief Executive of the Poonawala Finance, will be the Managing Director. Vijay Deshwal, a seasoned banker with a track record of over two decades, will take over as the Chief Executive of Magma Fincorp from July, according to a statement.

Sanjay Chamria will continue as the Vice Chairman of the company and will guide the new team during the transition, the company said.

The changes reflect Magma's transition into the next phase of growth and the ongoing committment to achieving better corporate governance standards, the statement said.

With the acquisition, the balance sheet of the NBFC has been strengthened significantly through the equity infusion, with the tier-1 capital adequacy ratio standing at 66.8 per cent and leverage at 1.3 times as of May 15.

It also said there will be more hands in the leadership team by the second quarter and that the rebranding of Magma a Poonawalla Group firm is also underway.

Magma has improved its operating performance in the financial year 2020-21 and reported an increase in NIMs, reduction in operating expense ratios, and cost of funds.

A higher write-off led the company to report an 863.58 crore net loss on a standalone basis in the March quarter as against 17.36 crore profit in the December 2020 quarter and 4.11 crore a year ago. For the full year to March 2021, its losses amounted to 748.76 crore as against a net income of 81.78 crore in the financial year 2019-20.

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