National Stock Exchange is set to have a new chief tomorrow, when Chitra Ramkrishna will take over as Managing Director and CEO and join the select league of women leaders at the helm of affairs of leading stock exchanges of the world.
The 49-year old Ramkrishna, who was part of the leadership team that helped set up the National Stock Exchange (NSE) in early 90s, would be only the third person to head the bourse in its entire history of about two decades.
As MD and CEO of the NSE, Ramkrishna succeeds Ravi Narain who would assume the role of non-executive Vice Chairman with effect from April 1, 2013, after serving in various leadership roles at the exchange since its inception.
Narain had served as Deputy Managing Director of NSE in its first six years and as MD and CEO thereafter. Narain had succeeded R H Patil, who was the first chief of NSE.
In November 2012, the board of directors of NSE decided to elevate Ramkrishna, then its Joint MD, as Managing Director and CEO with effect from April 1, 2013.
Ramkrishna and Narain were part of the initial leadership team selected by the government to set up NSE, which got incorporated in 1992 and became operational in 1994. She was also part of a team that drafted the legislative framework for the securities market regulator Sebi in 1987.
Ramkrishna has handled various operational and strategic aspects of NSE for many years during her roles as Deputy and Joint Managing Director.
She has often been named among the top women business leaders from the country in various rankings.
There are not many women leaders heading a large exchange across the world and the stock market trading business has long been considered a men-dominated area.
As per the data from the World Federation of Exchanges (WFE), NSE is the top ranked bourse in the world for number of equity trades and is among the top 20 exchanges globally in terms of market capitalisation.
NSE traded a total of 166 million equity shares for February, while market value stood at USD 1,173.65 billion in the same month.
Of the 57 bourses that are part of WFE, only eight stock exchanges have women
chief executives, but many of them are relatively smaller when compared to NSE.
Among the large bourses, South Africa's Johannesburg Stock Exchange and China's Shenzhen Stock Exchange are also headed by women leaders and have Nicky Newton-King and Liping Song as their chiefs, respectively.
In Asia-Pacific, NSE would be the third bourse to have a female CEO, after Sri Lanka’s Colombo Stock Exchange (headed by Surekha Sellahewa) and China's Shenzen Stock Exchange.
Smaller global exchanges with women chief executives include Irish Stock Exchange (Ireland), Oslo bors (Norway), Tel-Aviv Stock Exchange (Israel), Malta Stock Exchange (Malta) and Wiener Börse (Vienna).