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Shamshad Akhtar appointed as first female Chairperson of PSX Board

  • “Please be informed that the Board Of Directors of Pakistan Stock Exchange Limited, at its meeting held on May 04, 2021, has appointed Dr. Shamshad Akhtar as the Chairperson of the Board of the Exchange,” read a PSX statement.
Updated 05 May 2021

Leading economist and former Governor State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) Dr. Shamshad Akhtar has been appointed as the Chairperson of Pakistan Stock Exchange Limited Board of Directors, becoming the first female to assume the post.

“Please be informed that the Board Of Directors of Pakistan Stock Exchange Limited, at its meeting held on May 04, 2021, has appointed Dr. Shamshad Akhtar as the Chairperson of the Board of the Exchange,” read a PSX statement.

On being elected as the Chairperson of the Board of Pakistan Stock Exchange, Dr. Akhtar commented, “After my long association with Pakistan’s capital market, it is a proud moment for me to represent the Pakistan Stock Exchange as its Chairperson and join the efforts of the SECP, the new Board and Management to take this institution to new heights. I look forward to our joint endeavors to further transform PSX as a premier institution so it can play a critical role in raising its market capitalization through deepening of debt and equity markets, broadening its investor and product base and service efficiently all its clients upholding high standards of governance”.

Days ago, the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) vide its letter dated April 29, 2021, granted its approval to the appointment of three persons as independent directors on the Board of the Exchange for the term of the Board which commenced on April 19, 2021, the persons include Dr. Shamshad Akhtar, Javed Kureishi and Mohammed Salahuddin Manzoor.

The current size of the Board of Directors, as fixed by the previous Board at its meeting held in February 2021 pursuant to SECP’s pertinent directive, comprises of a total of eleven (11) members including seven (7) shareholder directors, three (3) independent directors and the CEO.

PSX’s CEO, Mr. Farrukh H. Khan, welcomed the appointment of the first woman Chairperson of the Board and the new and returning directors. He said “We have an outstanding new board and I am confident that the newly appointed Board of Directors will lead and direct the Exchange to even greater heights of success, prosperity and progress for all stakeholders and Pakistan’s capital markets. I am grateful to the cooperation extended by the SECP in this regard and for its approval of the PSX nominated directors”.

He added, “We are particularly excited and proud to have someone of the caliber of Dr. Akhtar, to be the Chairperson of PSX. Her understanding of capital markets and global experience will be invaluable in the development of capital markets and PSX. The fact that she is the first woman to chair PSX adds to our pride and excitement in welcoming her”

Mr. Khan also thanked the outgoing Board for their support and guidance. He said, “The outgoing Board has been invaluable for me and the management team, during what has been an unusually challenging year. I believe that the outgoing Board can be proud of the achievements during its term. You are leaving behind a PSX that has strong foundations and is poised for future growth”.

The process of election, nomination and appointment of directors of PSX is specified under the Companies Act, 2017, the Securities Exchanges (Licensing and Operations) Regulations, 2016 (the Regulations) and the Articles of Association of PSX. The Regulations mandates the number of independent directors to be not less than one-third of the total directors of the Board. The Board has been constituted following compliance of all regulations applicable to listed companies. PSX being a self-listed securities exchange and frontline regulator of listed companies, has complied with all laws, rules and regulations to which it is subject.

Dr. Shamshad Akhtar has served on various key roles, she has served as the caretaker of Finance Minister of Pakistan. Prior to that, she served as the 14th Governor of the State Bank of Pakistan, the first woman to assume this position. She also served as a senior adviser to the then Secretary-General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon, and as Vice-President of the World Bank.

In December 2013, Akhtar was selected by the UN Secretary-General[7] as Joined Countries Under-Secretary-General and the 10th Chief Secretary of the Monetary and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP).