Egon Zehnder Recruits India Stock Exchange CEO

February 6, 2017 – Egon Zehnder has recruited Vikram Limaye as managing director and chief executive officer of the National Stock Exchange of India (NSE)The placement comes just two months after the sudden exit of Chitra Ramkrishna from the top post. The appointment of NSE’s chief is important as it comes ahead of the Exchange’s initial public offering.

The search firm screened a shortlist of candidates submitted to the NSE selection panel.

The board of NSE had set up a search panel that included Anand Mahindra, chairman of Mahindra Group, and Usha Thorat, a former deputy governor of Reserve Bank of India, to identify the new CEO, the stock exchange said in a statement. The other two members of the search panel were NSE board members T.V. Mohandas Pai, a former chief financial officer of Infosys Ltd, and Dinesh Kanabar, former deputy CEO of KPMG in India and CEO of Dhruva Advisors Llp. Both are public interest directors at NSE.

Sources said NSE’s board approved Mr. Limaye’s name for the top position but a formal announcement would be made later as some formalities need to be completed. The approval of the board, chaired by Ashok Chawla, comes after the four-member search panel suggested Mr. Limaye’s name from among the shortlisted candidates.

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Currently managing director and CEO of IDFC, Mr. Limaye started his professional career with Arthur Andersen in Mumbai in 1987 and has also worked with Ernst & Young and Citibank.

He also worked on Wall Street for eight years with Credit Suisse First Boston before returning to Mumbai in 2004. Mr. Limaye has contributed to various committees of government and industry associations on a range of topics surrounding infrastructure, economic policy, markets and trade.

The NSE has a total market capitalization of more than $1.4 trillion, making it the world’s 12th-largest stock exchange. Its flagship index, the NIFTY 50, the 51 stock index (50 companies with 51 securities inclusive of DVR), is used extensively by investors in India and around the world as a barometer of the Indian capital markets.

Why CEO Recruiting for These Jobs Is So Challenging

Searching for any organization’s next chief executive is always difficult. Insiders, outsiders, incoherent succession planning processes in place. They all stack up, it seems, with every top level search. Headhunting for global trading exchange leaders present unique challenges. According to insiders at the Australian Stock Exchange, or ASX, which has been casting about for just the right search firm to help it identify its next chief, a “super human” candidate profile of about 25 characteristics as been created, including a digital change agent who is “tactical” and “strategic” and could be a “flag carrier” for the Exchange. With consolidation is sweeping exchanges globally, with technology heightening the competition among them, this mandate – and others like it that we have seen up close – is akin to finding the proverbial needle in a haystack ….. Here’s some further reading from Hunt Scanlon Media.

Australian Exchange Conducts Casting Call for Search Firms
Hunt Scanlon Media reported last year an open casting call for search firms to assist the beleaguered Australian Securities Exchange, or ASX Limited, to present their credentials in the hunt for its next chief executive officer. A number of global recruiting firms were interviewed – does anyone have an update? Email us.

Egon Zehnder specializes in the recruitment and leadership solutions business and has more than 400 consultants operating from 41 countries. The firm’s CEO succession practice includes a team of consultants who bring a global best practices rigor to fulfilling top level chief executive assignments. Its chief global rivals are Heidrick & Struggles, Korn Ferry, DHR International, Russell Reynolds Associates and Spencer Stuart, with a host of specialist firms and international consortiums competing with it for C-level and board directorship positions.

Just recently, Egon Zehnder placed Michele Buck as CEO of The Hershey Company. Ms. Buck previously was the chocolate maker’s chief operating officer.

Contributed by Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor, Hunt Scanlon Media

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