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SBI chief may get extension, LIC & UTI await new heads

NEW DELHI: State Bank of India (SBI) chairman Pratip C Chaudhuri is expected to get an extended two year term even as two other financial giants — Life InsuranceCorporation (LIC) and UTI Asset Management Company — will get new chiefs.
While 
LIC zonal manager S K Roy has emerged as the dark horse to succeed D K Mehrotra as the new chairman of the insurance behemoth , Leo Puri is once again being tipped to head UTI. Roy is said to be at the top of the list of candidates, whose name has been sent to the appointments committee of cabinet. 

At UTI, which has remained without a full-time chief for 27 months now, Puri is said to be the most preferred candidate along with Sunil Mehta and Ashu Suyash. The names have been doing the rounds for several months and were not accepted by the four state-run shareholders of what was once India's largest fund house. Sources said four public sector players would decide from the three candidates after it was decided to split the chairman and managing director's post. 

The real surprise has come at SBI where the 
finance ministry is said to be backing an extension for Chaudhuri, arguing that the second line of leadership is not in place. Of the three managing directors, Diwakar Gupta and Hemant Contractor are due to retire over the next few months, while A Krishna Kumar and S Vishwanathan have less than two years of remaining service, a prerequisite to be considered for the top job. Another two years for Chaudhuri would give him a four-and-a-half year term, which will be among the longest for SBI chiefs. The selection committee headed by RBI governor is yet to select a replacement for Gupta.