Carlyle-backed PNB Housing appoints SBI veteran as interim CEO
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PNB Housing Finance Ltd said on Tuesday it has appointed Neeraj Vyas as its interim managing director and chief executive officer as it looks for a replacement for its outgoing CEO.

Vyas will take over as the interim chief as Sanjaya Gupta’s term as the MD and CEO will end on May 4, the mortgage lender said in a statement. Gupta had become MD and CEO in 2010.

Vyas will remain in this role until a successor is appointed, it said, adding that the board has initiated a process to find a new MD and CEO.

Vyas was until now an independent director at PNB Housing. He is a senior banking professional with 36 years of experience.

He joined PNB Housing’s board last year after retiring as deputy managing director and chief operating officer at State Bank of India (SBI). During his tenure as COO at SBI, he managed the nation’s largest banking network of more than 22,000 branches, 58,000 ATMs and 260,000 personnel deployed nationwide, PNB Housing said.

PNB Housing is India’s fourth-largest housing finance company by assets. It is an associate of state-run Punjab National Bank, which holds a 32.65% stake.

The company also counts private equity firm Carlyle as a major shareholder with a 32.22% stake at the end of March. Buyout firm General Atlantic owned a 9.87% stake while Varde Partners held 2.33%.

General Atlantic and Varde Partners had last year sought to buy more stake in PNB Housing from Punjab National Bank but later terminated the deal.

The bank and Carlyle had in 2018 initiated a joint process to sell a minimum 51% stake in PNB Housing. Carlyle later withdrew from the sale process in November, but the bank decided to independently pursue the sale of its stake. However, after the deals with General Atlantic and Varde Partners fell through, the bank said it would continue to support the mortgage lender in pursuing its growth plans.

On Tuesday, Mallikarjuna Rao, chairman of the board at PNB Housing, reiterated that the bank had committed its ongoing support to the company and that the bank won’t reduce its stake below 26%.

“Our brand (PNB) will continue, and in case of requirement, we will not hesitate to support,” Rao said.

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