New COO to spearhead IDFC diversification

Avtar Monga joins from Bank of America as the organisation seeks to lessen its reliance on lending to Indian infrastructure.

As part of its plans to diversify, infrastructure finance company IDFC has brought in Avtar Monga as chief operating officer from Bank of America.

IDFC is currently seeking to obtain a banking licence from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) that would enable it to expand into housing finance and lending to the retail sector. The move is designed to reduce the risk involved in lending almost exclusively to the infrastructure sector.

At the end of last year, more than 85 percent of IDFC’s outstanding loans were to infrastructure projects in the energy, transport and telecommunications sectors.

IDFC is reported to be a leading contender to be awarded a banking licence by the end of March in a process that is being run by the RBI for the first time since 2003.

A statement announcing the hiring of Monga said that he would be “responsible for building the operating architecture for the new businesses that IDFC Group will launch”.

Monga has 32 years of experience in banking and finance, having been a senior executive at Bank of America, where he was responsible for running the GDCE operation (Global Delivery Centers of Expertise).

He also worked for GE Capital in India as chief executive officer of transport financial services and was also chief executive of a credit card joint venture between GE Capital and State Bank of India.