RIL ropes in Kamath as NBFC venture’s chairman

MUMBAI: Reliance Industries (RIL), India’s largest company in terms of market value, has roped in veteran banker KV Kamath as the chairman of its proposed NBFC venture, Jio Financial Services. Kamath has also been appointed on the board of Jio Financial’s parent RIL as an independent director for five years.
The energy-to-entertainment conglomerate is in the middle of spinning off its NBFC business and merging it with Reliance Strategic Investments (to be renamed as Jio Financial) before listing it on the Indian stock exchanges. RIL shareholders will get one share of Jio Financial for every share held in the company.
Kamath will continue as the non-executive chairman and independent director of Jio Financial upon consummation of the merger scheme and listing of the company on stock exchanges, RIL said.

He is currently the chairman of the National Bank for Financing Infrastructure and Development which was envisaged in the 2021 Budget. It is not clear whether he will step down from the government appointed role.
Kamath’s strong financial services experience will benefit Jio Financial that would like to be a force to reckon with in the coming years. Jio Financial plans to incubate several businesses such as insurance, payments, digital broking and asset management in three years and has secured regulatory licenses for many of them.
Kamath’s connection with Reliance and the Start family dates back to the ’70s when as a young officer at the Industrial Credit and Investment Corporation of India (which eventually transformed into ICICI Bank), he helped RIL secure its earliest term loan. A few decades later, the Ambani family had again turned to Kamath to mediate in a split of assets between Mukesh Ambani and Anil.

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