Meet Girish Chaturvedi, an IAS officer and ICICI bank's interim non-Executive Chairman

Last Updated: Fri, Jun 29, 2018 13:44 hrs
FILE PHOTO: A municipal worker walks past a logo of ICICI Bank at its headquarters in Mumbai

ICICI bank has informed exchange houses that it has selected Girish Chaturvedi, a retired bureaucrat, as its part-time non-executive chairman and Additional Independent director.

MK Sharma, the bank's current Chairman retires on Saturday, June 30 2018. Chaturvedi's joining date will be effective July 1 or a day the Reserve Bank of India grants approval.

Sharma has been appointed for a period of three years subject to approval from shareholders.

The appointment will be effective July 1 or the day the Reserve Bank of India grants approval, whichever is later, India’s second-largest private lender by assets said in an exchange filing. The term of incumbent Chairman MK Sharma ends on June 30.

Chaturvedi is an IAS officer from the 1977 batch, belonging to the Uttar Pradesh cadre. He holds a master’s in physics and social policy from the London School of Economics, and a doctorate in economic history from the University of Oxford.

The bureaucrat has served as secretary with the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, and additional secretary (financial services) in the Ministry of Finance. Prior to ICICI he has served on the boards of IDBI Bank, Bank of Baroda, and Canara Bank.

Girish Chaturvedi has also Served in the following roles:

  • Indian Strategic Petro Services
  • Chairman of Petronet LNG
  • Director of IBPS and National Insurance Academy
  • Non Executive Director of IDFC

Chaturvedi is expected to anchor the bank, around a time when it's CEO Chanda Kochhar is on leave. Kochhar is on leave even as investigating officers are probing the sanctioning of loans to Videocon. A whistle blower alleged a shady nexus between Deepak Kochhar, Chanda's husband, and Videocon's Chief Venugopal Dhoot.

Another whistle blower alleged that the bank used term loans and LCs to help defaulters. The complainant alleged the bank released credits to entities connected with 31 borrowers who the bank's own internal audit team had warned about.

The bank has refuted the latest allegations, and shared its interim report with the Reserve Bank.

When Bloomberg asked Chaturvedi to comment on the controversy surrounding Kochhar, he declined to comment saying, "Its not fair on my part to say that things with the ICICI Bank board should have happened in any particular manner."

The bank's selection committee had shortlisted a handful names who had earlier worked with the finance ministry. Some of the names included Shaktikanta Das, a former revenue secretary, DK Mittal, Former financial services secretary, Tapan Ray, the interim economic affairs secretary. There were reports that CB Bhave, the former Chairman of SEBI, who served in the finance ministry was also a profile that the board had discussed.

An anonymous source closer to the selection process was quoted as saying in Business Standard, that the board opted for a seasoned bureaucrat from the Indian Administrative Service (IAS). This source suggested Chaturvedi as "methodological, has a good grasp over economy-related issues, and had served in a senior position in the Ministry of Finance."

The ICICI board, at present comprises 13 members, including seven independent directors. Three independent directors since January, Homi Khusrokhan, Tushaar Shah, and V Sridhar retired. They were replaced by Uday Chitale, Radhakrishnan Nair, and M D Mallya. The government replaced its nominee directors in April without any explanation- Amit Agarwal with Lok Ranjan.

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