Finally, the ministry of finance(MoF) has decided to hold the interviews of 10 candidates to select the new CMDs of three public sector general insurance companies-New India Assurance(NIA). National Insurance Company(NIC), United India Insurance(UII)- on May 17.
While the post of CMD at NIC has already fallen vacant as K Sanat Kumar retired in Apr end, both the posts at UII and NIA will fall vacant when MN Sarma and G Srinivasan will retire in May end and July end respectively.
The MOF in terms of seniority has short-listed 10 names- Hemant G. Rokade, general manager (GM) & director, NIA, three senior most GMs of Delhi based Agriculture Insurance Company(AIC)-Malay K Poddar,Rajeev Chaudhry,Avinanda Ghosh- Dinesh Waghela, general manger, GIC Re, Siddharth Pradhan, GM, NIA, Girish Radhakrishnan, GM, NIA, Atul Sahai,GM, Oriental Insurance Company (OIC) , Tajinder Mukherjee, GM, NIA, S. N. Rajeswari, GM, NIA for the interview.
Pradhan will only be interviewed for the posts of CMD at NIC and UII while rest of the candidates will be considered for all the three posts.Pradhan qualifies for the interview of only two CMD posts as he is falling short of mandatory condition of “two years of residual services’’ when the vacancy of CMD at NIA will happen.
The MoF’s move to fill up the posts of CMDs at NIC and UII, two of the merging companies out of the three- third being the Oriental Insurance Company(OIC)- to create a new general insurance behemoth, at this moment, has once again the kept the industry guessing about the deadline for the mega- merger that is supposed to be completed in the year end.
AV Girija Kumar, the current CMD of OIC, who will be rertiring in July 2020, will most probably be heading the merged company. All the candidates who will be appearing for the interview, has residual services of more than two years and suppose the mergers of the three companies happen within the time-frame the government is indicating, the new CMDs of NIC and UII have to be given new postings. .
In fact, Debasish Panda, additional secretary, Insurance, MoF, in his last meeting with the three CMDs of merging companies on Apr 23, had said that the government was keen to complete the merger by Nov 18.
Earlier, the MoF had promoted 16 senior officials of the public sector general insurance companies as general managers, a fairly large number, considering the fact that three of the companies were expected to merge soon and the merged entity may not need such a large number of GMs.
A lot of GMs also have residual services of more than two years.
There are also talks in the indutsry that either AV Girija Kumar, CMD, OIC and TL Alumelu may be shifted to the NIA. However, sources say it is unlikely to happen as MoF has already specified the names of the three companies for which interviews on May 17 is happening. .
Meanwhile, John Pulinthanam, director and GM and BN Narsimhan, director and GM, NIC have been jointly asked to discharge the responsibility of CMD of NIC for three months since May 8.
The next round top level vacancies in the public sector general insurance industry will now only happen in 2019 when Alice Vaidyan, CMD, GIC Re, PJ Joseph, member, IRDAI will retire in July 2019 and January 2019 repectively.
However state-run Life Insurance Corporation(LIC) will see a series of retirements from September onwards including Usha Sangwan, MD, LIC, retiring in Sep 2018 and VK Sharma, chairman, retiring in Dec 2018 and other three existing MDs following them.
There are six senior officials of the corporation, having more than two years of residual services, who will be competing for the top posts of the life insurance behemoth. They include Ganesh Kumar (Oct, 2020), Bipin Anand (July, 2021), T Sushil Kumar, Mukesh Gupta (Sep, 2020) and Raj Kumar (2022).
The person, who will be succeeding Sangwan, stands a fair chance of becoming chairman of LIC when Sharma demits office in December, said sources.