Universal Sompo General Insurance sees management level changes

Universal Sompo General Insurance Company is going through senior management level changes.

While the joint venture company promoted by Allahabad BankBSE 0.36 % and four other partners is still in search to fill up the managing director slot, the company’s chief investment officer for seven years Indraneel Basu quit earlier in the month to explore consulting opportunities. Hareshwar Karekar from L&T Insurance has replaced him in a lateral movement.

Meanwhile, sources in Universal Sompo said that Insurance Regulatory & Development Authority of India has granted a short-term extension to Onkar Nath Singh to continue as executive chairman of the company till mid-October as the insurer has failed to meet its first deadline of July 15 for hiring an MD.

Sources close to the development said that the search for an MD is in full swing and the company has last week interviewed a few senior people in the industry for the job.

Earlier in May, Taketoshi Nagaoka, who was nominated by overseas joint venture partner Sompo Japan Nipponkoa, stepped down as MD following a change in insurance laws.

The revised foreign direct investment rules in India do not allow a foreign company nominee to head local ventures.

Singh, the former Allahabad Bank chairman, is slated to become non-executive chairman of the company once a new MD takes charge. He has been in the executive role since the company’s inception in 2007.

Allahabad Bank, which holds 30% interest in the JV, may dilute its stake while the overseas partner Sompo is expected to raise holding from the current 26% as Indian laws now allow 49% foreign holding in insurance ventures.

Indian Overseas Bank, the other state-run bank in the JV, has 19% interest with private sector Karnataka Bank’s 15%. Dabur is the lone non-finance promoter with 10% stake.

Allahabad Bank has engaged a consultant to advise it on the stake sale plan

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