Sucheta Dalal :SEBI: Change of guard in the offing
Sucheta Dalal

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SEBI: Change of guard in the offing  

April 1, 2011

SEBI is getting ready for several changes in top management

Sucheta Dalal

While corporate India is quietly calling for a re-look at the independence of regulators, SEBI is getting ready for several changes in top management. The government has already started the process of finding new members.

When Mr Bhave was the SEBI chief, he was specifically asked if he would like the then whole-time members (WTMs) to be given an extension. He said no. We have a copy of one such letter. This time too, we learn that UK Sinha is inclined to see new WTMs replace KM Abraham and MS Sahoo whose terms are coming to an end. Simultaneously, the finance ministry is seeking answers to realty acquisition by the duo in the same complex in which a stock exchange had acquired substantial assets.

But those are not the only changes. Insiders say that four executive directors are reportedly looking for assignments outside SEBI including heads of secondary markets, mutual funds and law boards. Given Mr Sinha’s quiet manner of working, the changes are expected to be gradual but inevitable.

If true, this raises an important issue. An independent regulator is credible only if its actions are fair and consistent. Unfortunately, the past two SEBI chairmen treated SEBI like a short-term political office by bringing in a team of loyalists to head all important divisions with the result that their actions were often seen as biased and fickle. Hopefully, the new SEBI chairman will work at restoring the regulator’s credibility.

(This article was first published in Moneylife magazine, in the edition dated 2 April 2011 that was available on the newsstands on 24 March 2011)


-- Sucheta Dalal