Advisory Firm IiAS Flags ESOPs For Paytm CEO, Seeks Sebi’s Intervention


Proxy advisory firm Institutional Investor Advisory Services (IiAS)  has asked SEBI to investigate whether Paytm’s CEO qualifies as a promoter. The advisory firm requested that the SEBI investigate Sharma’s decision to reduce his direct stake in Paytm by transferring his shares to a family trust.

In H1 FY23, Paytm spent INR 564 Cr on ESOP expenses for directors, KMPs, and relatives of key management personnel. IiAS has raised concerns about Paytm potentially skirting laws in order to grant employee stock options (ESOPs) to its founder and CEO, Vijay Shekhar Sharma.

The advisory firm expressed two concerns in a note: whether Sharma meets the definition of a promoter under SEBI guidelines, and whether his direct or indirect cumulative shareholding in the fintech behemoth was less than 10 per cent.

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