HDFC Bank to Hire Egon Zehnder to Find Aditya Puri’s Successor

HDFC Bank will employ global executive search company Egon Zehnder to find a replacement to managing director Aditya Puri, four sources familiar with the issue said, as its board seeks to end a deadlock and zero in on a candidate.

The board’s decision to hire a multinational head-hunting company comes as a six-member internal search committee, named in November last year, failed to reach consensus on the appointment of a successor to Mr Puri, who has been at the helm of the country’s largest private lender since its inception in 1994.

Mr Puri, whose term ends in October this year, is also a search committee advisor tasked with selecting a suitable candidate.

“The latest decision to hire a global advisory firm is on after the search committee members realize that they struggle to come to a consensus on the final name,” states a source familiar with the internal deliberations among members of the committee.

“The deadline for Puri’s successor is nearing. The bank will have to appoint someone who can continue to push for growth despite an economic slowdown,” he added.

HDFC to Seek Approval from RBI

The bank will need to obtain approval from Reserve Bank of India (RBI). This is per the regulations, before any new appointment can be confirmed. HDFC Bank is one of three domestic lenders deemes “too big to fail” by the central bank.

“We do not comment on our work for client confidentiality reasons.”

Pallavi Kathuria, a senior Egon Zehnder spoke in an official response to a Reuters query. The firm in 2018 had helped Axis Bank. This is with help of another private lender, to find its chief executive officer.

A second source at HDFC said the disagreements over succession. This is between the top leadership. This is the key reason for the delay in identifying a new managing director. HDFC Bank did not respond to a request for comment immediately.



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