India’s Prime Minister’s Office has paved the way for the first woman head at a Public Sector Bank
Arundhatti Bhattacharya is the new Managing Director (MD) and Chief Financial Officer (CFO)of SBI Capital Markets, the merchant banking arm of the lender. Earlier she headed SBI caps. Bhattacharya replaced Diwakar Gupta who retired on July 31. Last week, finance minister P Chidambaram cleared Bhattacharya’s appointment as MD, while RBI and the Central Vigilance Commission have also given the green signal. The proposal now needs to be endorsed by the appointments committee of cabinet headed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
Prior to her role at SBI Caps, Bhattacharya was also the corporate development officer. She has been instrumental in setting up various initiatives of SBI, including SBI General Insurance, SBI Macquarie Infrastructure Fund and SBI SG Global Securities Services.While there are several women at the entry level in the banking sector, there are few who until now made it to the top.Even now there are at least three women public sector bank chiefs although SBI is yet to match its smaller peers. In the private sector,Chanda Kochhar is ICICI Bank MD & CEO and her former colleague Shikha Sharma heads Axis Bank.
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