As many as 12 fund managers, representing institutional investors
in Infosys, have suggested bringing co-founder and former CEO
Nandan Nilekani back on the board of the IT major to restore the confidence of stakeholders and help resolve the crisis.
This is the second major pitch for bringing back Nilekani after an investor advisory firm IiAS
said the co-founder, who had served as CEO
between March 2002 to April 2007 and later went on to head the UIDAI, should be brought back on the Infosys
board as its non-executive chairman.
As the crisis continues at Infosys
following the sudden resignation of its first non-founder CEO Vishal Sikka
amid a public spat between some founders and the top management, the company's stock crashed 15 per cent for the two straight trading sessions, eroding its market wealth by Rs 34,000 crore.
"The recent developments are very concerning to each one of us," the 12 fund mangers said in a joint letter, which sources said, has been written to Infosys
chairman, among others.
The fund mangers said they represent several of the leading institutional investors
of the country and each of these is a shareholder in Infosys.
"After considerable thought and mutual deliberations, we strongly feel that the board of Infosys
should invite Nandan Nilekani to join the board in a suitable capacity," the letter noted.
They said Nilekani enjoys confidence of various stakeholders, including customers, shareholders and employees.
"Given his credentials, we feel that his joining the board at this stage will restore confidence of stakeholders in the company and also facilitate resolution of the contentious issues that Infosys
is facing presently. We do hope that you will consider the above and do the needful," the letter noted.
The joint letter has been written by ICICI
Prudential AMC's S Naren; ICICI
Prudential Life Insurance's Manish Kumar; HDFC
MF's Prashant Jain; HDFC
Life Insurance's Prasun Gajri; Reliance
Nippon Life AMC Sunil Singhania; SBI Funds
Management's Navneet Munot and SBI Life Insurance's Gopikrishna Shenoy.
Other signatories include Birla Sunlife
AMC's Mahesh Patil; Anand Radhakrishnan of Franklin Templeton; Anoop Bhaskar of IDFC AMC; DSP Blackrock Investment Managers' Anup Maheshwari and Kotak Mahindra AMC's Nilesh Shah.
At the end of June quarter, mutual funds
held 8.95 per cent stake in Infosys
and insurance companies
11.05 per cent, according to data available with the BSE.
Trustee Company Ltd owned 1.99 per cent in the IT firm as of June 30, ICICI
Prudential AMC (1.49 per cent), SBI (1.12 per cent), Reliance
Capital Trustee Company Ltd (1.06 per cent) and ICICI
Prudential Life Insurance Company (1.33 per cent).
The Institutional Investor Advisory Services (IiAS) last week said the Infosys
board has been "unable to protect its CEO" and to select a successor, it must begin by "reinventing itself".
"It must convince Nandan Nilekani to join the board once again as its non-executive chairperson," it said in a report, adding that Nilekani should not see this as any other corporate job as Infosys
is at the heart of Indian IT and its success will foretell how the sector will position itself for future.
Nilekani is one of the seven founders that set up Infosys
more than three decades ago and served as its CEO
between March 2002 to April 2007.
Sikka was brought in as the company's first non-founder CEO
in June 2014, prior to which the position was held by one or the other founder.