SEBI’s new chairman and the country’s first female market regulator

Madhabi Puri Buch has been appointed the next chairman of market regulator SEBI, making her the first woman to hold the position.

Madhabi Puri Buch, who would be the board’s 10th chair, formerly worked at the Securities and Exchange Board of India as a whole-time member (WTM).  She succeeds outgoing head Ajay Tyagi, whose term was set to expire on February 28. The news comes as financial markets wait to see if Ajay Tyagi would be given another extension or if the government would choose a replacement chairperson for the position.

The selection of Madhabi Puri Buch as chairwoman of SEBI is for a three-year term. She has been a full-time member of SEBI since April 2017, before her appointment. She was also named as the chairman of SEBI’s seven-member technology committee, the Advisory Committee for Leveraging Regulatory and Technology Solutions, last year.

Her appointment as the head of India’s capital markets regulator comes at a time when local and global markets are roiled by uncertainty and volatility due to the COVID-19 outbreak, central bank policy tightening activities, and now the Ukraine-Russia conflict. In India, on the other hand, there has been an inflow of new-age retail traders who have become an important component of the market and have been recognized in previous SEBI comments.

Madhabi Puri Buch formerly served on the boards of Idea Cellular Ltd, Zensar Technologies, and Max Healthcare as a non-executive director. She served as the CEO of ICICI Securities for two years. Madhabi Puri Buch earned a bachelor’s degree in management from the Indian Institute of Management in Ahmedabad after studying at St Stephen’s College, University of Delhi.

She succeeds Ajay Tyagi, an IAS officer from the 1984 batch who led the capital markets regulator for the previous five years. Tyagi was first appointed in 2017 for a three-year term but was awarded a six-month extension after his three-year tenure ended. His contract was renewed for another 18 months.

Madhabi Puri Buch has worn several hats and served on several committees, including the National Stock Exchange’s F&O Segment Committee. Puri Buch was a founding committee member of the Indian Banks Association and a member of the Bombay Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s management committee.

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