Reliance Industries (RIL) has appointed senior banker K V Kamath as chairman of its prospective NBFC venture, Jio Financial Services. Kamath has also been appointed as an independent director to the board of RIL, the parent company of Jio Financial, for a period of five years.
Before putting its stock on the Indian stock exchanges, the energy-to-entertainment conglomerate is currently in the process of spinning off its NBFC business and merging it with Reliance Strategic Investments (which will be renamed Jio Financial). For each share of RIL they own, shareholders will receive one share of Jio Financial. RIL stated that Kamath will continue as the non-executive chairman and independent director of Jio Financial upon consummation of the merger scheme and listing of the company on stock exchanges.
Kamath's relationship with Reliance and the Ambani family stretches back to the 1970s, when he assisted RIL in obtaining its first term loan while working as a young officer at Industrial Credit and Investment Corporation of India (which later changed its name to ICICI Bank). A few decades later, the Ambani family used Kamath's mediation services in order to settle the asset division between Mukesh Ambani and Anil.
Kamath, best known as the MD of ICICI Bank, had transformed the institution into a diversified, technology-driven financial services group across banking, insurance and asset management in India and globally.