Who is Madhabi Puri Buch? SEBI’s new chairperson
Madhabi Puri Buch has been appointed as the new Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) chairperson by the government making her the first woman to lead a financial regulatory body in the country. Madhabi will have an initial term of three years.
As per the procedure for the appointment of regulators, the candidates are shortlisted by the Financial Sector Regulatory Appointments Search Committee (FSRASC) headed by Cabinet Secretary.
The shortlisted candidates are interviewed by the panel comprising Economic Affairs Secretary and three external members having domain knowledge. Besides, the high-level panel has the authority to recommend names other than those who have applied for the advertised post.
Based on interactions, FSRASC recommends the name to Appointments Committee of Cabinet headed by the Prime Minister.
Buch is an alumnus of IIM Ahmedabad and joined ICICI as a project finance analyst in Mumbai. Later she held the executive position in ICICI Bank. She was a member of SEBI for nearly five years but was not given an extension when her term ended last October.
Her appointment marks a return of a private sector professional at the market regulator, which was under the charge of civil servants with G N Bajpai, a former LIC chairman, being the sole exception.
In her new role, her immediate challenge will be to restore the trust in Indian markets, which has been dented due to the controversy at NSE, the country’s largest exchange, while ensuring smooth sailing for Life Insurance Corporation of India’s mega initial public offer, estimated to be around Rs.65,000 crore or more. Besides, she will have to carry forward the reforms, with a special focus on retail investors.
While Buch has herself been a SEBI member and RBI has had several women deputy governors, none of them had gone on to head the agencies, including the insurance or pensions regulators.
She spent a few years away from ICICI, as a lecturer in the UK and at ORG-MARG before returning to ICICI Bank in 1997, where she took up multiple assignments, including being the head of their mortgage arm and was the executive director for consumer and corporate banking before being the CEO of ICICI Securities.
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