After five years, there is a change of guards at Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI). The Indian government appointed financial industry veteran Madhabi Puri Buch as the chairperson of the market regulator, becoming the first woman to head the regulator. She's also the first SEBI chief who's not an ex-bureaucrat in 17 years.
Winning Bizness Desk Correspondent
Mumbai. Meet Madhabi Puri Buch, the first woman to be appointed as the chairperson of India’s regulatory body for securities and commodity market, which regulates India’s $3.3 trillion stock market ecosystem. The 56-year-old ICICI Bank veteran has been appointed for an initial period of three years by the government. She succeeds Ajay Tyagi, whose five year term ended on 28th February, 2022. While taking over the charge, she did not miss the chance to thank Tyagi for setting a strong foundation.
A peek into her Journey:
The government of India on Feb 28, 2022, appointed Madhabi Puri Buch as the new chairperson of SEBI. Before being appointed as the chief, Buch served in SEBI between 2017 and 2021 as a whole-time member. Starting her 20 year stint in ICICI Bank as a project analyst, Buch has more than three decades of experience in the financial sector. She rose through the ranks to become the Executive Director in 2006. Buch then served as the CEO of ICICI Securities, the broking and investment banking arm of the ICICI Group, between 2009 and 2011. Adding to her advantage, she was among the handful executives who got trained and groomed by veteran banker KV Kamath – founder and former CEO of ICICI Bank.
Further in her journey, Buch served as the Head of Business development at a private equity firm Greater Pacific Capital in Singapore and acted as a consultant for New Development Bank in Shanghai, before taking charge as the only female Whole Time Member at Sebi in 2017. After the five-year term ended in October 2021, she was named the head of Sebi’s secondary market committee in December. She has handled important functions like the Market Regulation Department, Market Intermediaries Regulation and Supervision Department, Integrated Surveillance Department, Investment Management Department and Department of Economic and Policy Analysis in her earlier stint with Sebi.
Many ‘firsts’ to her credit:
An MBA from IIM Ahmedabad and a graduate of St Stephen’s College, the new chief of SEBI has many ‘Firsts’ to her credit. Buch is credited to be the first woman to head India’s stock market regulator. Not only this, but at the age of 56, she also becomes the youngest chairperson of SEBI. It is worth highlighting that the new chief is also the ‘First’ non-IAS individual since 2002 as well as the first person from the private sector to lead the market watchdog.
Immediate task for the new chairperson?
She has taken over the charge at the stage when global markets are roiled by the Russia-Ukraine conflict. At this sensitive time, the immediate task in hand for Buch will be the approval of the initial public offer document of the Life Insurance Corp of India (LIC), which looks a bit in tenterhook.
What is SEBI ?
The Securities and Exchange Board of India is the regulatory body for the securities and the commodity market in India. It is under the ownership of the Ministry of Finance and was established on April 12, 1988. SEBI was given the Statutory Powers on January 30, 1992, through SEBI Act, 1992. The aim of SEBI is to protect the interests of the investors in the securities and to promote the development of, and to regulate the securities market and for the matters connected.