Amidst the boardroom battle in UTI Asset Management Company Ltd regarding granting an extension to the incumbent CEO, Leo Puri has stepped down from the role. The mutual fund company has appointed Imtaiyazur Rahman as the acting CEO in the place of Puri, whose five-year term was ending this month.
“The board of UTI AMC has appointed its senior-most official — group president and chief finance officer Imtaiyazur Rahman — as the Acting CEO with effect from August 14,” the fund house said in a statement. Rahman will look after the day-to-day operations of the company, working closely with the rest of the senior leadership team, according to the statement.
According to media reports, on Sunday, Puri had said he did not want an extension as there were differences in the board about his continuation. T Rowe Price International, the biggest shareholder of UTI MF, was in favour of Puri staying on as CEO at least till the AMC’s impending IPO, while the other major shareholders like PSU banks opposed it.
The foreign shareholder, which owns 26% stake in UTI AMC, had also approached the Bombay High Court to intervene on the matter, while the court on Tuesday adjourned the hearing of the petition to August 28. Puri’s resignation comes even before the court took a call on T Rowe Price’s petition, indicating that he would not stay on if there was a difference of opinion among its shareholders.
The domestic shareholders who were opposing Puri’s continuation included State Bank of India, Bank of Baroda, Punjab National Bank and Life Insurance Corporation of India.
Puri was with McKinsey India for many years and thereafter with private equity firm Warburg Pincus prior to being appointed as the CEO of UTI AMC in 2013.