Kotak Bank hires an external consultant to help find the CEO

Uday Kotak has been leading Kotak Mahindra Bank (KMB) since its inception as a non-banking financial institution in 1985. It became a commercial lender in 2003.  He has a net worth of about $13.4 billion.

Mr Kotak will transition from his CEO position by the end of next year, after central bank guidelines capped tenures for Indian business heads.

His son Jay Kotak, who is currently working as VP within the bank is not a contender for the CEO position (as confirmed by senior management of the bank).

KMB’s board is speculated to have engaged consulting firm Egon Zehnder to lead a global search for the position.

Group Presidents and Whole Time Directors Shanti Ekambaram and KVS Manian are the internal candidates for the top job, according to the people. The board is expanding the search to ensure it finds the best possible replacement.

Though optically it seems that the bank is open towards the external candidates, practically it’s challenging to invite an outsider when there are internal committed people working for decades within the system.

(Ekambaram joined Kotak Mahindra Bank in 1991 and is now it’s highest-ranking woman. She oversees several functions including online saving accounts business, treasury, public affairs and human resources. She also continues to lead its consumer banking.

Manian, who joined in 1995, is part of the group management council, heading wholesale banking and wealth management business. He also has oversight responsibility of investment bank and institutional equities businesses.)

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