MUMBAI, July 3 UTI Asset Management Co Ltd,
India's sixth largest asset manager by size, appointed financial
executive Leo Puri as its managing director, concluding a
process that has taken more than two years because of
disagreements among stakeholders.
UTI, in which U.S.-based asset manager T.Rowe Price Group
Ltd holds a 26 percent stake, had been operating
without a head since its previous chairman and managing
director, U.K. Sinha, departed in February 2011 to take the top
job at India's market regulator.
Puri, who previously worked with McKinsey and Co and Warburg
Pincus, has long been tipped to be the next UTI chief. However,
disagreements between T.Rowe and UTI's four Indian stakeholders
stalled the appointment.
Previous media reports noted the disagreement from T.Rowe
was over Puri's lack of asset management experience in the fund
industry. T.Rowe and Puri were not immediately reachable.
Puri has been appointed managing director, UTI said in a
statement on Wednesday. The role would involve the day-to-day
running of the asset management company. However, UTI did not
say in the statement whether Puri would also be appointed
Sinha had been joint chairman and managing director at UTI,
and the fund house had initially looked for a person to fulfil
A UTI spokeswoman declined to comment beyond the statement.
The four Indian financial stakeholders of UTI are State Bank
of India, Bank of Baroda, Punjab National Bank
and Life Insurance Corp of India.