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State Bank of India (SBI) has re-allocated the portfolios of its deputy managing directors, and has appointed Arundhati Bhattacharya as the managing director (MD) and chief executive officer (CEO) of SBI Capital Markets — its merchant banking arm.
Prior to this new role, Bhattacharya, a deputy managing director, was also the corporate development officer. She will be in contention for the top job after the present Chairman Pratip Chaudhuri’s term ends in September next year.
SBI Caps , which also advises corporate entities and lenders on debt restructuring, was in the line of fire from the finance ministry. The ministry forced banks to reject the initial debt-recast proposal of troubled national carrier Air India, as proposed by SBI Caps. The initial plans, if implemented, would result in banks, in the consortium, taking a hit due to higher provisioning. Similarly, SBI Caps, a wholly owned subsidiary of SBI, has also drawn flak for suggesting the debt-recast plan of troubled Kingfisher Airlines, in which banks had to convert a part of their debt into equity.
S Viswanathan, whose three-year term, as the MD and CEO, ended at SBI Caps, will now be a part of the bank and take charge of the mid corporate. Viswanathan replaces R Venkatachalam, who will now play the role of chief credit and risk officer.
Venkatachalam has replaced Atanu Sen, who has been appointed as the MD and CEO of SBI Life Insurance following M N Rao’s superannuation.
However, the government is yet to decide on the appointment of one of the MDs. The bank is eligible to have four MDs, but one of the posts has been lying vacant for more than a year, following R Sridharan’s retirement.
The government had interviewed six deputy MDs of SBI for the MD’s post.