Three MDs to collectively decide on LIC investments
Life Insurance Corporation, which manages Rs 25 lakh crore assets, has divided its investment portfolio among three managing directors to arrive at balanced investment decisions. The move comes in the backdrop of questions being raised in some quarters about the corporation’s investment decisions.
For the past many years, the insurance behemoth had been working with one or two MDs, but from fiscal 2015, only one person, Usha Sangwan, has been holding that position.
LIC’s top management now consists of chairman, four MDs and 40 executive directors below them.
LIC has been criticised for being driven into investment in many state-run units by the government. Most of the failed or not-so- successful follow-on offers by the state-run companies in the past were bailed out by the insurance giant.

Now, LIC along with other state-run insurers are under legal scrutiny at the Bombay High Court for being the largest investor in the tobacco major ITC and other companies in the sector after a public interest litigation has questioned the rationale. LIC and the five state-run general insurers hold over 30 per cent in the company now.
Though to put the record straight, LIC does not own these shares on its own but on behalf of government holdings in Suuti. LIC, through this, holds more than 16 per cent in ITC.
According to the portfolio allocation order issued by the chairman last week, Sunita Sharma, the junior most MD, will oversee the investment operation department, while B Venugopal will handle the risk management and research part of the investment portfolio and Hemant Bhargava has been given the charge of monitoring and accounting, sources said.

The investment department is divided into three verticals--monitoring & accounting, risk management & research and investment operations, the last being the most important of the three. Earlier, all the three wings were reporting to the MD in-charge of investment portfolio.
The marketing department, that mobilises around Rs 2.5 lakh crore in premium annually, and the customer relationship management department has been given to Usha Sangwan, while Bhargava is also in charge of the personnel and HR departments overseeing around 1 lakh employees.
Sangwan is also in charge of the newly created department called the mission office for digital India, while Venugopal holds the additional charge of the finance department. Earlier, LIC revamped the senior management to improve performance by transferring 40 executive directors.

The corporation had shifted product development head in the marketing department Vinay Sah to LIC Housing Finance, its housing finance arm, as MD and CEO. The position was vacated by Sunita Sharma on her elevation as an LIC MD.
Sah's position in the marketing department has been filled in by Saroj Dikhale, who had been heading LIC Mutual Fund in the past.
P K Molri will be looking after the investment operations wing of the corporation, replacing V Chandrasekaran, who has been shifted to the investment research department.
LIC has registered a 27.22 per cent growth in new business premiums in fiscal 2017. It garnered a total first-year premium of Rs 1.24 lak crore in the year gone-by against Rs 98,000 crore in the previous fiscal, helping it improve its market share to 71.07 per cent.
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