Jaideep Bhattacharya, chief marketing officer and interim management committee member at UTI Asset Management, is in the race for the top post at rival L&T Finance Mutual Fund, according to two people in the know.
“He is one of the candidates being considered by the selection panel. A final decision is yet to be taken,” said one of them. The CEO’s post at L&T MF has been vacant since earlier incumbent Sanjay Sinha quit in August. The fund house has appointed Ashutosh Bishnoi as interim chief, while constituting a selection panel to choose the new CEO.
Interestingly, Bishnoi was the chief marketing officer at UTI MF before Bhattacharya took over five years ago.
The development is significant, as UTI AMC has been managing without a chairman since the past nine months. After the exit of U K Sinha, media reports had billed Bhattacharya as one of the front runners for the post, along with Assam cadre IAS officer Jitesh Khosla. However, with the finance ministry said to be backing the latter’s candidature, Bhattacharya is said to be exploring options.
Bhattacharya, however, denied any such move. “I am still with UTI MF. I am expecting good things to happen here,” he said. He has been with UTI since 2006. Ved Prakash Chaturvedi, chief executive, capital markets and investment management group, L&T Finance Holdings, did not answer calls.
An economics postgraduate, Bhattacharya has a work experience of 22 years, with 17 in the financial sector. Before joining UTI AMC, he was in charge of products, channels and marketing for small and medium enterprises at ICICI Bank.
Bhattacharya was a director on the board of the Association of Mutual Funds in India from 2007 to 2010. He was also a member of the Securities and Exchange Board of India’s advisory committee on mutual funds between 2008 and 2010. He was awarded the Marketing Personality of the Year by Asia Asset Management in 2010.