Mumbai: Reliance Industries Ltd.’s unit Jio Financial Services has appointed veteran banker K.V. Kamath as its non-executive chairman, according to an exchange filing Friday.
Kamath, who finished a five-year term as the head of the BRICS-backed New Development Bank in 2020, brokered a peace deal between billionaire Mukesh Ambani - chairman of Reliance Industries - and his younger brother Anil Ambani more than 15 years ago.
The 75 year-old Kamath also headed private sector lender ICICI Bank Ltd. until 2009 when he retired as chief executive officer and was appointed as non-executive chairman. He recently headed a central bank-appointed panel that suggested ways to revamp debt among borrowers hit during the pandemic.
Last month Reliance said it will separate and list the shadow-banking unit to feed its consumer businesses that are contributing an increasing share of profits to the retail-to-refining conglomerate.
Jio Financial Services is Ambani’s latest attempt to establish a significant financial services business. In 2011, Reliance Industries had partnered D.E. Shaw Group for offering investment banking, derivatives trading and alternate asset management businesses. The alliance surrendered its exchange memberships, according to a Business Standard report in 2018.
Jio Financial will lend to consumers and merchants based on proprietary data analytics and will eventually branch out to insurance, payments, digital broking and asset management, Reliance said.