India’s Reliance Hunts for CEO of Jio Financial Services’ Newly Created Insurance Biz

By Preeti Singh and P R Sanjai | August 31, 2023

Reliance Industries Ltd. is in discussions with global and domestic executive headhunters to find a leader for Jio Financial Services Ltd.’s newly created insurance business, according to people familiar with the matter.

Executives from Reliance have met several firms in recent weeks to help them map top talent across life, health and general insurance segments, according to the people, who asked not to be identified because the discussions are private. Korn Ferry and Spencer Stuart Inc. are among the firms that have held talks with representatives from the petrochemicals-to-consumer conglomerate, the people said.

Jio Financial will look to hire a chief executive for the insurance unit before early next year, the people said. Spokespeople for Korn Ferry and Reliance declined to comment. Spencer Stuart didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

The leadership search comes as Reliance Chairman Mukesh Ambani, Asia’s richest man, said on Monday that Jio Financial would revolutionize insurance in India. Jio Financial was publicly listed last week as Ambani attempts to create a new non-banking finance titan that will tap Reliance’s wider reach across its digital and retail businesses.

Veteran banker K.V. Kamath, who serves as Jio Financial’s non-executive chairman, will closely monitor the executive hires, the people said. Jio Financial is in the process of developing the organizational structure for its insurance business, and the first chief executive would play an important role in shaping it, the people added.

A decision, though imminent, has not yet been made, the people said. While the mandate for the CEO search would most likely be awarded to a global firm, the domestic headhunters would be roped in for middle and mid-senior hires, the people said.

Photograph: Signage for Jio Financial Services Ltd. at the Bombay Stock Exchange. Photo credit: Dhiraj Singh/Bloomberg

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