Leo Puri has quit as managing director and chief executive officer of UTI Mutual Fund after end of his five-year tenure as board room battle between Indian and foreign shareholders cast shadow over his extension, according to sources.
Puri, who yesterday said that he did not want an extension as long as the board was sparring, will not be continuing at the fund house from tomorrow onwards, executives at the fund house confirmed.
However, T Rowe Price International, the biggest shareholder of UTI MF, wanted Puri to stay on until at least the initial public offer (IPO) of the fund house and even approached Bombay High Court on this issue.
Meanwhile, the Bombay High Court today adjourned the hearing of the petition filed by T Rowe Price to August 28 after the US-based shareholder sought more time.
The row has escalated with domestic shareholders asking regulator Sebi for more time to meet a regulatory diktat to reduce their stakes and also want the foreign investor to be asked to do the same.
Officials, however, said the regulator does not see merit in this demand as this particular foreign shareholder, T Rowe Price of the US, does not have cross holding in another fund house in India.
The diktat applies to some Indian shareholders only in case of UTI MF as they have their own fund houses as well.
Puri is also said to have defended the performance of the fund house during his five-year tenure, amid allegations from some quarters that the growth has been muted during his leadership.
T Rowe Price, which owns 26 percent stake in UTI AMC, had last week approached the court seeking a direction to the Finance Ministry and markets regulator Sebi to prevent certain PSUs from stalling the company's bid to come up with an IPO.
In its petition, T Rowe Price had claimed that four public sector undertakings -- State Bank of India, Life Insurance Corporation, Punjab National Bank and Bank of Baroda -- were trying to stall the company's proposed IPO.
The petition had also sought implementation of Sebi's rules and regulations and to extend the term of Puri for another year to see the IPO through.
The petition had also sought a direction to the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) to ask the four domestic shareholders to bring down their holding in the fund house to 10 per cent each from the present 18.50 per cent.
Earlier in March, Sebi issued a directive that no shareholder of one asset management company can own more than 10 per cent in another, and those who own such stakes need to bring them down.
(This article has not been edited by Zeebiz editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)