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NEW DELHI : Former chief financial officer (CFO) of SBI Cards and Payment Services, Nalin Negi, is set to take over as the first full-time CFO of BharatPe, a person in the know said, seeking anonymity.

In a regulatory filing on 3 May, SBI Cards announced the resignation of Negi, effective 31 July.

Negi was appointed as the CFO of the credit card and payment solutions firm in December 2017.

In April, BharatPe had hired an executive from consulting firm Alvarez & Marsal as interim CFO. The company had said it is “in the process of finalizing the candidate for the role of CFO."

The move is in line with BharatPe’s plan to overhaul its governance framework following a review in January.

The fintech firm, which helps shop owners to make digital payments through QR codes, has been criticised for not appointing a full-time CFO, besides meeting regulatory obligations.

Despite raising $580 million in equity from marquee investors, such as Sequoia Capital, Ribbit Capital and Tiger Global to reach a valuation of $2.8 billion, BharatPe never had a qualified CFO.

In January, Mint reported that Madhuri Jain, former managing director Ashneer Grover’s wife, was in charge of procurement, finance and human resources, as the head of controls right from the start. “At times, the company did try to look at hiring a CFO but that decision was turned down by Grover," a person seeking anonymity had said back then.

Jain was allegedly involved in irregularities in recruitment and payments, according to the findings of an independent probe by A&M, which eventually led to the ouster of Grover and Jain, Mint had first reported on 4 February.

BharatPe, which is looking to launch its initial public offering next year, is looking to address regulatory concerns. Securities and Exchange Board of India has mandated companies looking to go public to have full-time CFO at least six months before filing the draft prospectus.

“With several tech startup listings, markets regulator Sebi has observed that CFOs were being hired at the last minute. Going forward, Sebi will clear DRHPs only when it sees that the CFO has been with the company for at least six months," said a regulatory official also requesting anonymity.

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