ICRA Sends CEO Naresh Takkar On Forced Leave Amid SEBI Concerns
ICRA Ratings Ltd. on Monday decided to send its managing director and chief executive officer Naresh Takkar on forced leave, pending inquiry into the “concerns” raised by the Securities and Exchange Board of India.
ICRA has appointed chief financial officer Vipul Agarwal as the interim chief operating officer and he will be reporting to the board, according to a statutory filing.
Action against Takkar has been taken “pending enquiry into the concerns raised in an anonymous representation, that was forwarded to the company by the Securities and Exchange Board of India”, said ICRA, which is majority owned by Moody’s Investor Services Inc. The action is effective immediately, the statement signed by chairman Arun Duggal said.
Though ICRA did not share the exact reasons for the unprecedented step, a first in the industry, it can be noted that the move comes at a time when the ratings agencies are under a cloud following the IL&FS crisis.
A May 9 media report had said ICRA’s top management was being investigated for influencing 'AAA' rating on IL&FS and had hired KPMG to look into the allegations.
The IL&FS crisis, that surfaced in September last year, spooked the credit markets immediately, triggering an NBFC liquidity crisis that continues till date.
Takkar was recently appointed by Reserve Bank of India as a member of its committee on the development of housing finance securitisation market, chaired by Bain & Co's Harsh Vardhan.