Bandhan Bank appoints Ratan Kumar Kesh as interim MD & CEO with effect from July 10

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    Bandhan Bank has announced the appointment of Ratan Kumar Kesh as the Interim Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer (MD & CEO) effective from July 10, 2024. This decision comes in the wake of the retirement of Chandra Shekhar Ghosh, the current MD & CEO, whose tenure ends on July 9, 2024.

    According to the official statement released by the bank, the appointment of Ratan Kumar Kesh has been approved by the Board of Directors in their meeting held on July 6, 2024. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has also given its endorsement for this appointment, which follows the recommendation of the Nomination and Remuneration Committee.

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    Kesh, who currently serves as the Executive Director & Chief Operating Officer at Bandhan Bank, will assume the role of Interim MD & CEO for an initial period of three months or until a permanent MD & CEO is appointed, subject to the approval of the bank’s shareholders. In his current role, Kesh leads functions including Technology, Operations, Customer Experience, Transformation, Internal Audit, Recovery, and other support functions at the bank. Kesh, who was previously with Axis Bank heading retail operations and services, was appointed as ED & COO at Bandhan Bank from March 31, 2023.

    A tough CEO search

    The decision to appoint an interim MD & CEO is said to be as an outcome of the initial search for the top job not yielding the desired results. It may be recalled that Egon Zehnder was given the head hunting mandate for the MD & Ceo position.

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    “The job required an experienced banker to shift base to Calcutta and take charge of a bank, where a part of the books is under scrutiny for forensic records,” said a banker who was approached for the role and didn’t want to be named. “This is a different kind of challenge, which not many bankers would be willing to accept at this point in time, and hence the search for a CEO candidate so far hasn’t thrown up any great names yet from the private or foreign banks,” said another person aware of the matter.

    It is also believed that the regulator may not be in much of a rush to ensure that the position is filled in quickly until an appropriate candidate who can lift the job of cleaning up the books can be zeroed in on. “Like in the case of RBL Bank, it’s possible that a former PSU banker who has worked across geographies and portfolios may be shortlisted for the role of MD and CEO at Bandhan Bank,” said a highly placed source aware of the development.

    Kesh has over three decades of experience in leadership roles across various industries. Before Bandhan Bank, Kesh held key roles in organization transformation with focus on technology, digital initiatives, governance, quality, and customer-centric strategies at ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank, Yes Bank, and Axis Bank.

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    Kesh holds a B.E. in Mechanical Engineering from NIT, Durgapur, an MBA from NMIMS. Additionally, certified as a Quality Engineer from Quality Council of Indiana, USA, and completed advanced leadership courses from IIM-A and Strategic Agility from Harvard.

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