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Exclusive: Prashant Saini returns to IndiaFirst Life Insurance as head of legal

Prashant Saini, head of legal and compliance, IndiaFirst Life Insurance
Prashant Saini, head of legal and compliance, IndiaFirst Life Insurance

In what can be called homecoming, Prashant Saini is returning to IndiaFirst Life Insurance Co Ltd to head the firm’s legal and compliance. Saini will also be looking after contract negotiations, regulatory interface, litigation and business advisory, among other things, at IndiaFirst, one of the youngest insurance companies in the country, a person familiar with the development told News Corp VCCircle.

This would be Saini's second stint at IndiaFirst. Between September 2011 and August 2014, he oversaw legal and compliance at IndiaFirst. Later, he moved to Canara HSBC OBC Life Insurance Co Ltd as senior manager - legal & compliance.

Saini started his career at law firm Singhania & Associates in 2003, and then moved to the insurance sector. He has also worked with ICICI Bank and Reliance Life Insurance Co Ltd.

“In a sector which is very regulation heavy and prone to litigation, it’s very rare to know legal as well as the compliance part and Prashant is among the few people who know the sector really well,” said a senior partner at a Delhi-based law firm who has worked with him in the past.

An email query to IndiaFirst as well as Saini remained unanswered at the time of writing this report. 

Started in 2010 with a paid-up share capital of Rs 625 crore, IndiaFirst Life Insurance is a joint venture between two public sector banks, Bank of Baroda and Andhra Bank, and British wealth and investment company Legal & General Group Plc.

Saini's appointment comes at a time when the insurance sector is witnessing lots of action and, despite being regulation-heavy, outshining several other sectors in terms of retail and big-ticket investments.

Companies are preferring professionals with exposure to legal as well as compliance due to stricter regulatory requirements. Recently, pharmaceutical firm Roche's local unit had hired Mandakini Sharma from UAE Exchange to lead compliance. Around the same time, Vivek Rajan of Scope International joined hospital chain HCG to head its legal and compliance.

Early this month, the country’s largest public sector lender State Bank of India (SBI) decided to dilute around 3.9% in its life insurance arm for around Rs 1,794 crore ($265 million), selling the stake to Singapore’s state investment firm Temasek Holdings and private equity giant KKR & Co.

In September, ICICI Prudential Life Insurance Co. Ltd’s IPO was oversubscribed 9.5 times.

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IndiaFirst Life Insurance Co. Ltd. is a life insurance company that provides various insurance products for individuals and groups. It offers IndiaFirst smart save plan, IndiaFirst young India plan, IndiaFirst life plan, IndiaFirst simple life plan, IndiaFirst anytime plan, IndiaFirst annuity plan, IndiaFirst secure save plan, IndiaFirst group credit life plan, IndiaFirst group term plan, IndiaFirst term rider plan, IndiaFirst employee benefit plan, IndiaFirst money back health insurance plan and IndiaFirst retirement benefit plan. The company was founded in 2008 and is based in Mumbai, Maharashtra.

Head office:
Mumbai
Year Founded:
2008
Management:
Vishakha R M

ICICI Bank Ltd. is engaged in providing financial services. It offers banking services like saving accounts, NRI (non-resident of India) savings account, current accounts and salary account; fixed deposits, tax saver fixed deposit, recurring deposits, etc; safe deposit locker; credit cards, debit cards, prepaid card; foreign exchange operations, investments, payments facilities for recharge, bills payment, money transfer, tax solution, travel and shopping; pay at stores, gift vouchers, mutual funds etc. The firm also offers loans such as home loan, personal loan, car loan, loan against property, gold loans etc; and insurance namely life insurance, health insurance, home insurance, travel insurance, motor insurance, etc; micro banking, microfinance, venture capital, and asset management to corporate and retail customers. It also enables the user to apply online for creating accounts, deposits, foreign exchange, loans, insurance, cards, investments etc. The company was founded in 1955 and is based in Mumbai, Maharashtra with an additional office in Vadodara.

(SBI)

State Bank of India is engaged in providing banking and financial services. It offers personal banking, agricultural, non-resident indian (NRI) services, international banking, automated teller machine (ATM) and corporate banking services. The firm also operates in capital markets, fund management, factoring and commercial services, credit cards and brokerage services. The company was founded in 1806 and is based in Mumbai, Maharashtra. State Bank of India operates as a subsidiary of the Government of India.

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