Former banker Madhabi Puri Buch has been appointed as the new chairperson of the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) - the first-ever woman to head the capital markets regulator. Buch, 57, who was not only the first woman whole-time member of Sebi but also the first person working at the regulator from the private sector, has been appointed for a three-year term, finance ministry sources said. She replaces bureaucrat Ajay Tyagi whose tenure as Sebi chairman ends on Monday, February 28.
A graduate from Delhi's prestigious St Stephen's College and an MBA from IIM Ahmedabad, Buch has three decades of financial market experience. Starting her career with ICICI Bank, she went on to become the managing director and CEO at ICICI Securities from February 2009 to May 2011. In 2011, Buch left for Singapore to join private equity firm Greater Pacific Capital LLP. She later served as a consultant to the New Development Bank, set up by the BRICS bloc of nations, in Shanghai. She is the founder-director of Agora Advisory Pvt Ltd.
Buch, who will assume charge on March 1, has worked closely with Tyagi as a whole-time member between April 05, 2017, and October 4, 2021. She handled key portfolios such as surveillance, collective investment schemes, and investment management. Sources said the Appointments Committee of Cabinet, headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has approved Buch's appointment for an initial period of three years.
Tyagi, 63, a 1984 batch IAS officer of Himachal Pradesh cadre, was appointed as Sebi Chairperson on March 1, 2017, for three years. He was subsequently given a six-month extension and later in August 2020, his tenure was extended by 18 months. As per the procedure for the appointment of regulators, the candidates are shortlisted by the Financial Sector Regulatory Appointments Search Committee (FSRASC) headed by the cabinet secretary.
They are interviewed by the panel comprising Economic Affairs Secretary and three external members having domain knowledge and their recommendation is set to the Appointments Committee of Cabinet headed by the Prime Minister.
As per the Sebi Act, the Sebi chairman is appointed for a maximum period of five years or till 65 years, whichever is earlier.
The government had given an extension to U K Sinha for three years, making him the second longest-serving chief of Sebi after D R Mehta. Sinha was at the helm before Tyagi took charge.
According to her Linkedin profile, Buch joined ICICI Bank in 1989. She had a 12-year stint at ICICI Bank, including three years as executive director, before moving to ICICI Securities.