Banker Ashok Vaswani to Head Kotak Mahindra Bank

Kotak Mahindra Bank has received approval from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to appoint Ashok Vaswani as the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer (MD & CEO) for a three-year term. Vaswani, who previously worked with Barclays, will take over from Uday Kotak, who stepped down as MD of the bank effective September 1. Vaswani is currently the President of Pagaya Technologies Ltd, a US-Israeli AI Fintech, and serves on the boards of the London Stock Exchange Group and the SP Jain Institute of Global Management, UK. The appointment is subject to shareholders’ approval.
Vaswani’s extensive three-and-a-half-decade career includes roles at Citigroup and Barclays, where he demonstrated a track record of building and expanding global businesses, fostering successful teams, forming transformative partnerships, and harnessing innovative technology to drive substantial business growth.
Dipak Gupta, the Interim MD & CEO of Kotak Mahindra Bank, expressed that Vaswani’s values and experience align with the bank’s vision to become a technology-driven, customer-centric financial institution. Uday Kotak, the bank’s founder-director, praised Vaswani as a world-class leader with a digital and customer-centric focus, expressing his pride in bringing a “Global Indian” back home to shape the bank’s future.
Uday Kotak’s early retirement from his executive role, originally scheduled for December, was attributed to personal reasons. This change follows the RBI’s guidelines, capping the tenure of managing directors and chief executive officers in private sector banks at 15 years, in response to leadership appointment norms reviewed after the Yes Bank crisis. Uday Kotak, holding a 26% stake in the bank, now assumes a non-executive director position.
Speaking on the appointment, Vaswani said, “We will ensure that Kotak Mahindra Bank plays a meaningful role in India’s journey to being one of the top 3 economies in the world in the next 5 years, delivering shareholder value. At a personal level, l am delighted to come back home.”