New Delhi: As many as 12 fund managers, representing institutional investors in Infosys, have suggested bringing co-founder and former CEO Nandan Nilekani back on the board of the IT major to restore confidence of stakeholders and help resolve the crisis.
This is the second major pitch for bringing back Nilekani after an investor advisory firm IiAS said the co-founder, who had served as CEO between March 2002 to April 2007 and later went on to head the UIDAI, should be brought back on the Infosys board as its non-executive chairman.
As the crisis continues at Infosys following the sudden resignation of its first non-founder CEO Vishal Sikka amid a public spat between some founders and the top management, the companys stock crashed 15 per cent for the two straight trading sessions, eroding its market wealth by Rs 34,000 crore.
"The recent developments are very concerning to each one of us," the 12 fund mangers said in a joint letter, which sources said, has been written to Infosys chairman, among others.
The fund mangers said they represent several of the leading institutional investors of the country and each of these is a shareholder in Infosys.
"After considerable thought and mutual deliberations, we strongly feel that the board of Infosys should invite Nandan Nilekani to join the board in a suitable capacity," the letter noted. They said Nilekani enjoys confidence of various stakeholders, including customers, shareholders and employees.
"Given his credentials, we feel that his joining the board at this stage will restore confidence of stakeholders in the company and also facilitate resolution of the contentious issues that Infosys is facing presently. We do hope that you will consider the above and do the needful," the letter noted. The joint letter has been written by ICICI Prudential AMCs S Naren; ICICI Prudential Life Insurances Manish Kumar; HDFC MFs Prashant Jain; HDFC Life Insurances Prasun Gajri; Reliance Nippon Life AMC Sunil Singhania; SBI Funds Managements Navneet Munot and SBI Life Insurances Gopikrishna Shenoy.
Other signatories include Birla Sunlife AMCs Mahesh Patil; Anand Radhakrishnan of Franklin Templeton; Anoop Bhaskar of IDFC AMC; DSP Blackrock Investment Managers Anup Maheshwari and Kotak Mahindra AMCs Nilesh Shah.
At the end of June quarter, mutual funds held 8.95 per cent stake in Infosys and insurance companies 11.05 per cent, according to data available with the BSE. HDFC Trustee Company Ltd owned 1.99 per cent in the IT firm as of June 30, ICICI Prudential AMC (1.49 per cent), SBI (1.12 per cent), Reliance Capital Trustee Company Ltd (1.06 per cent) and ICICI Prudential Life Insurance Company (1.33 per cent).
The Institutional Investor Advisory Services (IiAS) last week said the Infosys board has been "unable to protect its CEO" and to select a successor, it must begin by "reinventing itself".
"It must convince Nandan Nilekani to join the board once again as its non-executive chairperson," it said in a report, adding that Nilekani should not see this as any other corporate job as Infosys is at the heart of Indian IT and its success will foretell how the sector will position itself for future.
Nilekani is one of the seven founders that set up Infosys more than three decades ago and served as its CEO between March 2002 to April 2007.
Sikka was brought in as the companys first non-founder CEO in June 2014, prior to which the position was held by one or the other founder....