India\'s top bourse NSE seeks new chief amid suspected governance lapses
Photo Credit: Reuters

The National Stock Exchange (NSE) of India, the country's largest bourse, began a search on Friday for a new chief executive as it grapples with accusations of governance lapses that have long delayed an initial public offering (IPO).

The effort comes after the market regulator penalised former chief executive Chitra Ramkrishna, among others, following an investigation that showed she had sought advice for years from an outsider she described as a Himalayan yogi. 

In a newspaper advertisement, the NSE specified that candidates must have a "track record of strengthening corporate governance" and a minimum of 25 years of experience. 

Having led an organisation through an IPO will be an added advantage, added the advertisement, which showed that executive search firm Korn Ferry is assisting in the task.

The NSE did not immediately respond to a request from Reuters for comment on the advertisement.

India's market regulator has said NSE and its board were aware of the interactions with the controversial adviser, but had chosen to "keep the matter under wraps".

In response to public criticism, NSE said it was "committed to highest standards of governance and transparency", and described the issue as being "almost six to nine years old". 

The exchange's plan to go public in 2017 was derailed by accusations that some officials provided high frequency traders unfair access to speed up algorithmic trading.

Its current chief executive, Vikram Limaye, is set to end his five-year term in July.

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