U K Sinha takes charge as SEBI chief

Upendra Kumar Sinha yesterday took charge as market regulator SEBI's chairman from the outgoing chief Chandrashekar Bhave, who is credited with having considerably raised the bar of the institution during his three year tenure.

Sinha, who is known to his friends as UK, is the eighth chairman of the market watchdog, and has his job cut out for him, given that his predecessor has highly elevated the standing of the institution and has also on occasions invoked the powers vested in it to discipline even the mighty of the corporate world, in larger interests of all stakeholders.

U K Sinha takes charge as SEBI chiefAn electrical engineer by qualfication, Bhave, a 1975 batch IAS officer, initiated and implemented numerous changes in Indian markets after taking charge as the chairman of the securities and exchange board of India (SEBI) on 17 February 2008.

Interestingly, a number of significant steps SEBI took under Bhave's charge involved the mutual fund space, Sinha's homeground, so to say.

Bhave is credited with having saved the retail investors Rs 2,000 crore, as per SEBI's own estimates, with his decision to bar mutual funds from charging entry loads. An entry load is a charge paid by investors to buy a mutual fund.

In a similar move, Bhave raised the investment limit for retail investors in an initial public offering (IPO) to Rs2 lakh from Rs1 lakh. Another widely hailed of Bhave's moves was the introduction of the Applications Supported by Blocked Amount (ASBA) system in public offers, whereby an investor's bank account is debited only on the allotment of shares, and not at the time of bidding for shares.