India’s largest and leading full service law firm, Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas (“CAM”), has set up a Corporate Governance Center (CAM – CGC) as part of the firm.
The CAM – CGC, being the first of its kind, will be the centrepiece of the Firm’s thought leadership and advisory initiatives in the area of corporate governance. As a Think Tank it will undertake continuous study and research on complex and nuanced issues pertaining to governance. The initiatives of the CAM – CGC will be wide ranging and will include providing specialized, bespoke board advisory services, assisting companies in setting up internal governance procedures and controls, representation in shareholder/ activist engagements engaging with Indian and international stakeholders and training of board members and senior management. The CAM – CGC will also contribute to deepening of understanding of corporate governance issues specific to Indian markets through seminars, publications and engaging with market participants and regulators. And thereby, shape the governance conversation in India.
Given CAM’s long standing leadership of and commitment to corporate governance and its extensive experience and expertise, the Firm seeks to be the trusted advisor of companies and their boards, promoters and investors in the new corporate world order of high accountability and activism.
In addition to the overall leadership of Cyril Shroff, the Managing Partner of the Firm, having advised multiple boards over the years and being a member of the recent SEBI Committee on Corporate Governance under the Chairmanship of Mr. Uday Kotak, the CAM – CGC will also build a team and have several subject matter experts roped in to provide comprehensive, holistic and effective governance advice to clients.
In this context, the Firm is also pleased to announce that the CAM – CGC will be led by U. K. Sinha (the former SEBI Chairman) as “Senior Advisor” to the firm and the CAM-CGC.
U. K. Sinha, a 1976-batch IAS officer, had served as Joint Secretary in the Ministry of Finance, Government of India looking after banking as well as capital markets divisions. He was appointed Chairman of the Securities & Exchange Board of India (SEBI), for an initial period of 3 years, followed by two extensions leading to a term of over six years till February 2017.
Under the stewardship of U.K. Sinha, at SEBI, several key reform measures were initiated in the capital market to include stringent disclosure norms, reforms in the mutual funds and in the primary market, strict regulations for merchant bankers, introduction of new regulations for foreign portfolio investors, alternate investment funds and research analysts and merger of FMC with SEBI. He was awarded the “Business Reformer of the Year” award by Economic Times in 2014 and “Business Leader Award” for outstanding contribution to the cause of Indian Business by CNBC TV18 in 2015
Prior to his engagement with SEBI, U. K. Sinha was Managing Director of UTI Asset Management Company, where he successfully implemented its restructuring and multiplied its business.
On the institution of the CAM – CGC and appointment of U. K. Sinha, Cyril Shroff said, “With the setting up of the CAM – CGC, we are taking our Corporate Governance practice sharply to the next level. We believe that this has the potential to be an independent practice like in western markets. We see governance related conversations becoming more frequent and urgent across Indian corporates, stakeholders and regulators. The answers are never simple and straightforward and require maturity, experience and multi-disciplinary expertise. So this is very exciting for CAM given our focus on this practice over the last few years. I am very glad to have U.K. Sinha join us as we cross a very important milestone. He brings with him the substance and experience that this practice needs, and which I believe, our clients will immensely benefit from. His scholarly and thoughtful approach will add enormous depth to our offering”.
On his appointment to Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas, U. K. Sinha said, “Evolution of the regulatory regime concerning Corporate Governance was a very important aspect of my tenure at SEBI. This is a topic that I have significant interest in and I am glad to be getting another meaningful opportunity to contribute to its development. CAM is widely recognized for its leadership on Corporate Governance advisory and I am looking forward to being part of the CAM – Corporate Governance Center and also advising the firm more generally”.