The managing director and chief executive officer of ICICI Prudential Asset Management Company, Pankaj Razdan, has resigned, just days after his colleague in Hong Kong, Ajay Srinivasan, also announced that he was leaving the firm.

Sources in India are not surprised at the development. Razdan was handpicked by Srinivasan in 1998 to join ICICI Prudential. Razdan and SrinivasanÆs paths crossed when Razdan was a distributor at Karvy Securities and Srinivasan was at ITC Threadneedle (where he worked before joining ICICI Prudential).

Srinivasan brought Razdan on board at ICICI Prudential as the head of sales and distribution for the western region. Razdan grew to become deputy CEO in 2003 and then in January 2004 was promoted to the role of managing director. Srinivasan, who had by then moved to Hong Kong as managing director of funds for Prudential Asia, commented at the time that Razdan was the ônatural choice to take the business to its next stage of developmentö.

Meanwhile, ICICI Prudential has announced that Nilesh Shah who is currently chief investment officer will be promoted to deputy managing director and continue in his role as CIO.

Shah joined ICICI Prudential as CIO in June 2004 having joined the ICICI group as far back as 1992. He left ICICI Securities for a stint with Franklin Templeton before returning to the firm as CIO.

Speculation is that Razdan will be joining Srinivasan at the leading Indian conglomerate, the Birlas Group, where he has been hired as CEO of financial services and director of corporate strategy and development. Srinivasan, who took up his new responsibility on July 16, has a mandate to kick-start the groupÆs presence in financial services and will also advise Birla group companies on financial strategy including M&A.