“I have done my best to lead the organisation in a very difficult period and to stabilise, strengthen and transform NSE. We have come a long way in terms of controls, governance, technology, regulatory effectiveness and business growth.” The 55-year-old finance executive’s five-year term ends on July 16. Limaye didn’t give any explanation for his decision.
The NSE recently invited applications for the post of MD and CEO. Limaye is eligible for another term of five years but regulations require incumbents to re-apply for the position. After the NSE board approves the candidate, it must seek the approval of the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi). The NSE has come under scrutiny recently for events that predate his tenure. Limaye was appointed as NSE chief after Chitra Ramkrishna’s abrupt exit in December 2016.
Before joining NSE, Limaye was MD and CEO of IDFC. During Limaye’s tenure at the NSE, total daily turnover in the futures and options segment surged six times. In the cash segment, turnover doubled. The exchange’s net profit went up 260% in the period, while its technology spend in FY23 is estimated at Rs 4,000 crore against Rs 400 crore in FY19. A technical glitch early last year that disrupted trading partly eclipsed the strong financial performance.
NSE came under sharp criticism after the exchange was forced to shut trading in equities and derivatives for about four hours on February 24, 2021, the longest an exchange was shut due to a snag. Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman said the malfunction had cost the government “immensely,” while brokers and market participants slammed the exchange for not shifting to the disaster recovery site.
There were some echoes of that episode in Monday’s disruption that lasted about an hour when prices and index levels weren’t being updated in early trade.