The Modi mould for Indian regulators

The news of the appointment of Subhash Chandra Khuntia as the insurance regulator on 1 May 2018 came as a surprise to most financial sector watchers. Of the eight people shortlisted for the final round of screening, Khuntia was the only bureaucrat, the rest were insurance industry insiders, including the serving Life Insurance Corp. of India chairman V.K. Sharma, New India Assurance chairman and managing director (CMD) G. Srinivasan, member Life at Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (Irdai) Nilesh Sathe, and K. Sanath Kumar, CMD, National Insurance. The choice of a person with limited domain knowledge over others who have spent their entire careers working in this very technical industry was the surprise. Remember that it took an earlier outsider, J. Hari Narayan, the first three years of his five-year term to understand the sector. In fact, by the time he demitted office, he understood the sector so well that it went against the then government’s own agenda to allow him to continue. So what has gone into the decision to appoint an outsider as the head of a regulatory body that watches over Rs28 trillion of household savings and over Rs2.2 trillion of general insurance money?

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How are mutual funds preparing for growth?

Are mutual funds ready for exponential growth?

Speakers:

Anuradha Rao, managing director and chief executive officer, SBI Funds Management Co. Ltd

Kalpen Parekh, president, DSP BlackRock Investment Managers Pvt. Ltd

Milind Barve, managing director, HDFC Asset Management Co. Ltd

Nilesh Shah, managing director, Kotak Mahindra Asset Management Co. Ltd

Nimesh Shah, managing director and chief executive officer, ICICI Prudential Asset Management Co. Ltd

Swarup Mohanty, chief executive officer, Mirae Asset Global Investments (India) Pvt. Ltd

Moderator: Monika Halan, consulting editor, Mint

Edited excerpts of the discussion:

Monika Halan: I want to actually start with a small story. This is ending 2010. I am at an airport. I will not name the person but it is a life insurance industry CEO who met me at that airport and said, “Ye to khatam ho gayi industry (This industry is finished).” 2009 was when the front load of the mutual fund product was taken away by Mr. Bhave (ex chairman of Securities and Exchange Board of India). So he said we will just come and clean up this industry. It’s over. Fund managers will just go home.

That was 2010 and today in 2017, we’re looking at a Rs20 trillion industry. So I just want very quick opening statements to say that should we have the question mark in the topic today. This is financial year 2018. So, are we asking a question or should we be making a statement?

Let’s just start with you Swarup and just walk down the panel.

 

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