Billionaire Mukesh Ambnai’s daughter Isha and former CAG Rajiv Mehrishi are among the directors appointed on the board of demerged financial services unit of Reliance Industries Ltd, the company said on Saturday.
Reliance had previously announced plans to demerge its financial services undertaking into Reliance Strategic Investments Limited (RSIL) and rename and list it as Jio Financial Services Limited (JFSL). It will lend to consumers and merchants based on proprietary data analytics and will eventually branch out to insurance, payments, digital broking and asset management.
Every Reliance shareholder will get one share of the new firm for every share held in the parent.
While the effective date of the demerger has been fixed as July 1, July 20 has been fixed as the record day for allocating shares of the new company, according to the company’s stock exchange filing.
The spinoff, which will create fifth-largest financier in terms of capital and compete directly with the likes of Paytm and Bajaj Finance, will complement Reliance’s consumer businesses, which include India’s largest wireless operator with about 428 million users, top retail chain with over 17,000 stores.
“In accordance with provisions of the (demerger) Scheme, Reliance Strategic Investments Limited (RSIL) shall issue and allot one fully paid-up equity share of RSIL having face value of Rs 10 each for every one fully paid-up equity share of Rs 10 each of the company to the shareholders of the company whose names are recorded in the register of members and/or records of the depository as on the record date,” the firm said in a stock exchange filing.
The board of directors of the new company at a meeting held on July 7 approved the appointment of new directors. Isha Mukesh Ambani, the elder daughter of the billionaire, has been appointed as non-executive director. Alongside, Reliance executive Anshuman Thakur too has been appointed as non-executive director.
It said former bureaucrat Rajiv Mehrishi, who served as home secretary as well as CAG, has been appointed independent director on RSIL for five years. Sunil Mehta, chief executive of Indian Banks’ Association, and Bimal Manu Tanna, a chartered accountant who worked with PwC, too have been appointed independent directors.
“Appointment of directors is subject to the approval of members of RSIL and the Reserve Bank of India and will be effective from the date of receipt of approval of the Reserve Bank of India,” the filing said.
Banker Hitesh Kumar Sethia has been appointed managing director and chief executive officer of RSIL for a period of three years.
“Hitesh Sethia is a financial services executive with over two decades of experience across Europe, Asia (India & Greater China) and North America. He has spent most of his career at ICICI Bank gaining functional experience and handling leadership roles across various departments such as credit, retail banking, corporate banking and transaction banking coupled with understanding of technology applications in financial services,” the filing said giving a brief profile of the new CEO.
Having a rich experience in the areas of strategy formulation, market development, compliance, risk management and team building across multiple countries, Sethia was involved with setting up and scaling operations as a key member of the set-up team for ICICI Bank Canada, and as the first employee of ICICI Bank in Germany. He also held senior positions /country head positions for the ICICI Bank’s operations in the UK and Hong Kong. In his last role at the bank, he was Head of Transaction Banking based in Mumbai.
According to brokerage BofA Securities, by separating financial services from the core business, Reliance appears to be keeping arm’s length transactions from other entities, and in theory helping them better to attract strategic or JV partners who are keen only in the financial services arm – like what they did with Reliance Jio or tower InvIT.
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