PSX to appoint Pakistani national as CEO this time

Salman Siddiqui – December 01, 2019

Decision on hiring will be taken by end of December 2019

KARACHI: The Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) has decided, in principle, not to appoint a foreigner on the vacant post of chief executive officer, but a Pakistani national will be hired this time, keeping in view the recent experience of the exchange run by a Canadian national.

“We have advised Chinese stakeholders to nominate Pakistani nationals for the post of CEO instead of a foreigner,” PSX Chairman Sulaiman S Mehdi said while addressing a press conference on Friday.

The Chinese consortium, having 40% stake in the PSX – the company that runs the trading platform, has the right to make nominations for the top three positions, including the CEO/managing director, chief financial officer (CFO) and chief regulatory officer (CRO). However, the board of directors remains the final authority to appoint from among the nominations on such posts.

The Chinese owners of the stock market have apparently accepted the advice. “They have made nominations (of Pakistani nationals) last week. The CEO will be appointed by next month (end of December 2019),” he said.

A source added that the three names which are mostly heard for the position in the market include Salman Usmani of Faisal Bank, Naz Khan who is an independent director on the PSX board at present; and Akif Saeed, who is said to be a consultant to Asian Development Bank (ADB) and a former commissioner in the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP).

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The CEO appointment issue remains pending for about six-months since the Canadian-national Richard Morin resigned from the post in May. Prevailing laws demand the management to fill the vacant position within 90-days from the date of resignation of the last CEO/MD. The source added that the delay in hiring a new CEO is seen due to Chinese stakeholders’ indecision on nominations till recent days. They made the nominations last week.

He, however, added that no foreigner had applied for the vacant post this time as well. “There were a couple of applicants who had applied for the post from abroad but they remain Pakistani nationals. They were out of the country for job purposes,” he said.

The PSX had received close to 100 applications for the post. Initially, they shortlisted 22 people for the post, now the list has now been reduced to 15 candidates following two-three rounds of interviews conducted by the Chinese and HR committee of PSX.

The source said that the chairman and HR committee has been holding final round of interviews for the post these days.

They may not necessarily interview all the 15 shortlisted candidates, but may end up the process as soon as they find a suitable and fit candidate for the post. The remaining shortlisted candidates would not be called for the final interview.

The Express Tribune

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