Top Executives from SBI vie for key finance role at IRDAI as govt prepares for interviews

The government will soon hold interviews for the post of member finance in the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India, or IRDAI. Two key executives from the country’s largest bank, the State Bank of India, are said to be frontrunners for the post, according to people aware of the developments.

PC Kandpal, one of the front runners, is currently deputy managing director (Retail-Personal Banking & Real Estate) at the State Bank of India. He was earlier the managing director and chief executive officer of SBI General Insurance. The other candidate in the fray is Rajay Kumar Sinha, who at present is the MD and CEO of SBI Capital Markets Limited (SBICAPS).

“The interviews are expected to be held in the third week of this month,” said an official requesting anonymity. The interview panel will include financial services secretary Vivek Joshi and IRDAI chairman Debashish Panda.

The post got vacated after the term of incumbent member Rakesh Joshi ended in November this year. Joshi was also a former employee with SBI and held the post of Executive Vice President and Group Head (Debt Capital Markets), State Bank of India Capital Markets, before joining IRDAI.

“The government should expand the selection pool to get more candidates. The post of member actuary should also be filled at the earliest,” said an industry executive.

IRDAI has a ten-member team led by the chairman, along with five full-time members and four part-time members, which are being filled by the government.

The term of the office of the member is in accordance with the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority Act. No person can hold the office of a whole-time member after attaining the age of 62.

As per the latest IRDAI data, private general insurers have a combined market share of 53.58% YTD September 2023 with a growth rate of 21.13%, compared to a market share of 50.81% YTD September 2022 with a growth rate of 21.33%. According to the Irdai data, up to September 2023, health insurance was the largest non-life segment, followed by motor (total) and crop insurance.