Narayana Murthy to be on HSBC board

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Global banking giant HSBC said Indian IT major Infosys’ chief mentor NR Narayana Murthy will join its board in May with an annual renumeration of 65,000 pounds (about Rs 52 lakh).

“Nagavara Ramarao Narayana Murthy CBE (61 years old) has been appointed a director of HSBC Holdings Plc with effect from May 1, 2008. He will be an independent non-executive director,” HSBC said in a regulatory filing in London.

HSBC India, in december last year, had announced that the bank is looking to enter the retail broking space. “We are looking at it as we are already strong in the wealth management segment. The bank is open to either acquiring a retail brokerage or setting up one in-house. said, Naina Lal Kidwai, group general manager and country head, HSBC India.

With regard to acquiring she said, “The regulatory environment is restrictive,”

How appointment of Murthy helps on this front is a matter of wait and watch. As a non-executive director, Murthy will not have a service contract with HSBC Holdings and would be paid a director’s fee of 65,000 pounds per annum as authorised by shareholders at the 2006 AGM.

Murthy is currently chairman of Infosys Technologies, which he co-founded in 1981, and was its CEO for 21 years.

A leading international financial conglomerate, HSBC Holdings Plc serves over 125 million customers worldwide through around 10,000 offices in 83 countries and territories in Europe, the Asia-Pacific region, the Americas, the Middle East and Africa.

With listings on the London, Hong Kong, New York, Paris and Bermuda stock exchanges, shares in HSBC Holdings are held by around 200,000 shareholders in some 100 countries and territories.

According to the statement, the directors have determined that Murthy is independent and he has no interests in the shares of HSBC. In making that determination, the directors concluded there are no relationships that are likely to affect Murthy’s judgement, and any relationships or circumstances that could appear to do so were considered not to be material.

Murthy is also an independent non-executive director of global FMCG giant Unilever and Indian media firm New Delhi Television Ltd (NDTV), and a director of the United Nations Foundation.

Besides, he is presently rendering his service as a non-executive director to Singapore-based DBS Bank Ltd, and the term will come to an end on April 2 this year.

Murthy, known as a corporate philanthropist, is also a member of several educational institutions including Cornell, INSEAD, Stanford and Yale. He has also spearheaded a number of corporate governance initiatives in India, and is serving as chairman of a committee on corporate governance appointed by the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) in 2003.

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