This Article is From Nov 07, 2014

Financial Tech Expands Board, to Carve Out New Firm for Flagship Product

Mumbai: Facing a government-ordered merger of the crisis hit National Spot Exchange Ltd (NSEL) with itself, Financial Technologies India Ltd (FTIL) on Friday announced spinning off a key revenue-generating trading software product into a separate subsidiary as part of a major restructuring exercise.

FTIL, the holding company of Jignesh Shah-led group, said that its flagship software product, ODIN, is being spun out into a "separate subsidiary to attract majority strategic partner/investor".

It also announced appointments of two new non-executive directors - Berjis Desai and Anil Singhvi - and one executive director, Prashant Desai, to strengthen the company's board for further growth.

Besides, the company said it would appoint an 'industry advisory board' and a consulting firm to help it plan and execute the next level of growth ''Vision of Digital India at 2025" to "build and power India's own equivalent of Amazon, Google, Alibaba and Baidu et al over next 10 years".

ODIN is a popular trading and risk management software used in the marketplace including by brokers and the company will soon appoint investment bankers to look for potential investors.

FTIL said that it would continue to engage with the government and concerned authorities to resolve the Rs 5,600-crore payment crisis at its subsidiary NSEL.

In a statement, the company announced "the expansion of its Board by inducting industry leaders Berjis Desai and Anil Singhvi as non-independent, non-executive Directors".

It also inducted Prashant Desai as executive director to its board.

The development comes in the backdrop of the Corporate Affairs Ministry's draft order to merge NSEL with FTIL to help investors hit by a Rs 5,600-crore "fraud" at the bourse get back their money using resources of entire group.

Pursuant to such a merger, a final call on which would be taken after looking into submissions made by creditors and investors among other stakeholders till December 20, FTIL group would need to absorb NSEL along with all its liabilities including pending dues, estimated at over Rs 5,200 crore, that needs to be paid to investors, creditors, brokers and others.

Besides the merger, the government is also mulling recasting the FTIL board to expedite the payment settlement process.

After payment crisis surfaced on NSEL, FTIL was forced to exit from the exchange businesses. It has sold its entire stake in MCX, IEX as well as from its global bourses.

Among the new directors appointed by FTIL on Friday, Anil Singhvi is chairman of Ican Investments Advisors and has over 30 years of experience in the corporate sector including Ambuja Cements. Berjis Desai, a solicitor and advocate, has been managing partner with law firm J Sagar Associates.

Prashant Desai is a founder of investor relations company Seagull IR Solutions. He represents FTIL on the Boards of Dubai Gold and Commodity Exchange, Bourse Africa Ltd, Mauritius and Bahrain Financial Exchange.

Shares in FTIL, which have fallen over 15 per cent in a month, on Friday rose 1.70 per cent to end at Rs 182.65 apiece on the BSE.

"I have no doubt that the new Board coupled with FTIL's technology, scale and execution capabilities can significantly contribute in creating and powering at least 100 new digital leaders in 10 key sectors over next 10 years," FTIL managing director Jignesh Shah said.

FTIL, which is now focusing on its technology business, said, "The Board took note of the appointment of a Global and an Indian Investment Banker for the purpose of attracting majority strategic partner/investor into FTIL's Member Technology business (ODIN) and the creation of a separate subsidiary for the same, if required."