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MUMBAI : Fintech unicorn BharatPe on Tuesday said it has started action against former managing director and co-founder Ashneer Grover to claw back his restricted shares. The company has also introduced a code of conduct and a vendor procurement policy.

The corporate governance review was started in January following the ouster of Grover and wife Madhuri Jain over alleged misappropriation of funds.

The Sequoia Capital-backed fintech said it will take all steps to enforce its rights under the law.

In March, VCCircle reported that according to the shareholder agreement, Grover may have to forfeit unvested stock options equivalent to around 1.4% of his shareholding, if the PwC inquiry finds evidence of misconduct against him.

The company has also terminated the services of several employees in departments directly involved with blocked vendors, it said.

“If required, the company will file criminal cases against some of these employees for the misconduct and act of cheating committed by them against the company," it said.

The fresh measures, taken after a detailed review of the PwC report over the last two months, include a new code of conduct for senior management and employees, regular internal audits and a comprehensive vendor procurement policy that blocks vendors involved in malpractice and mitigates the risk of employees indulging in suspicious transactions. The new code of conduct, BharatPe said, “will be applicable to senior management and employees and has now been implemented. The code of conduct inter-alia deals with conflict of interest and other issues that will help strengthen overall governance in the company."

The company has also appointed a full-time chief human resources officer (CHRO) and an interim chief financial officer (CFO).

“The company is also in the process of finalizing the candidate for the role of CFO and this will be closed in the current quarter," it noted.

For its internal audit, it has roped in global audit firm Mazars India.

After resigning on 28 February, Grover had accused executives of Sequoia Capital and Ribbit Capital of being “far removed from reality" and treating founders as “slaves".

For the governance review, the company had appointed turnaround professional firm Alvarez & Marsal, law firm Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas & Co., and consulting form PwC to investigate wilful misconduct and gross negligence by Grover.

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