Ajay Tyagi takes charge as Sebi Chairman

Finance ministry official Ajay Tyagi took over as Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) Chairman on Wednesday with two likely priorities – developing the country’s commodity and corporate bond markets and shoring up corporate governance.

Tyagi, 58, will also inherit from outgoing SEBI Chairman U.K. Sinha critical regulatory decisions, including whether to penalise India’s largest exchange, National Stock Exchange, over potential trading violations and whether to adopt tougher rules against high-frequency traders.

Tyagi has already been closely involved with the capital markets regulator, having served as additional secretary at the finance ministry’s economic affairs department since 2014, the same unit thatoversees SEBI.

He inherits an organisation that has become bigger much more muscular under Sinha, who served for six years, the second-longest term by any SEBI Chairman.

Tyagi will now need to balance multiple constituencies such as traders, fund managers and the Reserve Bank of India to accomplish his objectives

But those who have worked with him believe that he brings the right skill and personality to the job. More importantly, he is widely respected within the finance ministry, whose support he will need as SEBI Chairman.

“Tyagi is a very straight-forward and a balanced person who believes in finding solutions for a problem. You can’t get anything out of him through flattery,” said a senior finance ministry official who has been working with him.