Axis Capital CEO Dharmesh Mehta resigns, firm names new co-CEOs

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Dharmesh Mehta, the managing director and chief executive officer (CEO) of Axis Capital, has put in his papers, the investment banking firm’s parent entity Axis Bank Ltd announced on Tuesday.

The bank also said that it has elevated Salil Pitale and Chirag Negandhi as joint managing directors and co-CEOs with immediate effect to replace Mehta. Both have been holding the position of co-heads of the investment banking vertical at Axis Capital since 2016. Their promotions, however, are subject to requisite regulatory approvals, it added.

“Dharmesh Mehta, MD & CEO of Axis Capital today submitted his resignation, having decided to pursue other interests,” the private sector lender said. The board of Axis Capital in a meeting held on Tuesday accepted Mehta’s resignation.

Mehta took over as the MD and CEO of Axis Capital in 2015 replacing Nilesh Shah, who quit to join Kotak Mahindra Asset Management Company after spending four years at the investment banking firm. Mehta has over 28 years of experience in capital markets and has held various leadership positions at Enam Securities (which was acquired by Axis Bank in 2010) and Axis Capital.

Recently, Mint reported that Mehta was among the bidders for IDFC Securities Ltd, the securities broking and investment banking business of non-banking financial company IDFC Ltd. The report had also said that Mehta was likely to move out of Axis Capital along with a few of his team members if the deal fructifies.

Meanwhile, Pitale has been with Axis Capital and Axis Bank since 1999, and has led several sector practices for the investment bank. On the other hand, Negandhi has been working with Axis Capital since 2005. He also served as the co-head of the firm’s equity research.

Axis Capital offers advisory services across equity capital markets, private equity, structured finance and institutional equities. Last fiscal, it closed 49 deals across equity capital markets and advisory businesses, and five private equity and five M&A transactions.

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