Madhabi Puri Buch has been selected as the Sebi chairman for a three-year term. According to the government, her appointment was authorized by the Cabinet Appointments Committee, which is chaired by the Prime Minister, for a three-year initial term. Because Tuesday is a market holiday, she is most likely to take over on Wednesday (March 2).
Puri Buch, 56, will be the first woman to lead the securities market watchdog, as well as the first person from the private sector. She did, however, work at Sebi for more than four years as a whole-time member (WTM), a position just below the chairman. She will be the youngest Sebi chief and an IIM-Ahmedabad alumna.
Buch will take over from Ajay Tyagi, whose five-year term ends in February. Tyagi, a 1984 batch IAS officer from the Himachal Pradesh cadre, was appointed Sebi chairman for a three-year term on March 1, 2017. He was given a six-month extension after that, and his term was extended for another 18 months in August 2020.
Many expected Tyagi to get an extension, so her last-minute appointment caught the market off guard.
She takes over as Sebi’s chief executive at a time when markets are unsettled due to the Russia-Ukraine crisis and sustained selling by international investors ahead of US Federal Reserve interest rate hikes. Sebi has also come under fire in recent weeks for its handling of the issue involving failures at the National Stock Exchange (NSE), which is now being investigated by the Central Bureau of Investigation and the Income-Tax Department.
Buch has nearly three decades of experience in the financial markets. In 1989, she joined ICICI Bank. She has worked as an investment banker, directed the country’s top broking firm, held a senior position at a private equity firm, and worked for the BRICS bloc’s New Development Bank for a brief period.
The most recent was an advisory body that dealt with concerns such as data access and privacy in the securities market. In December, Sebi reconstituted the committee, appointing S Sahoo, a former chairperson, and professor at Delhi’s National Law University, as the new chair.
According to ET NOW sources, IFSCA Chairman Injeti Srinivas and ex-Finance Secretary Debasish Panda were among the candidates for the future Sebi chairmanship.