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SEBI seeks maths aces to decode market

The Securities and Exchange Board of India is planning to recruit a good number of mathematicians to decipher the working of the products and help it function better, reports Vyas Mohan.

business Updated: Jun 16, 2007 03:02 IST
Vyas Mohan

With a fast-evolving financial market rapidly adding more and more complex products to its basket, the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) is planning to recruit a good number of mathematicians to decipher the working of these products and help it function better.

The market watchdog will shortly recruit around 100 officials, out of which a few will be mathematicians, sources close to it said.

When contacted, SEBI chairman M Damodaran said, "It is premature to make a comment at this stage. We are looking at people from different disciplines as (financial) products are getting more complex."

According to the sources, these mathematicians will analyse the models involved in the design of financial products to help the regulator make well-informed judgments before allowing these products into the market.

Experts who have been associated with the market, the regulator and the appellate tribunal, feel inclusion of mathematicians will also strengthen the Sebi's capacity to tackle lawsuits against it. The watchdog has already firmed up its legal cell by recently appointing on a number of trained lawyers.

"It is essentially a good thought. Though these people would not be involved in the legal activities of the regulator, there are several areas where a mathematicians' expertise can be used to find out minute details and analyse things in depth, thus making the case stronger for SEBI," said a senior lawyer who deals with market-related lawsuits.

However, the regulator seems to be facing some difficulties in convincing mathematicians to join it in the task of ensuring orderly conduct of the equity markets.

Another challenge the regulator may face after recruiting mathematicians would be the high demand for this talent pool from multi-national companies. Though fresh hands in the field may be available at affordable salaries (by government standards) human resource consultants say that after a year, big financial firms could well come hunting for them and lure them away.