Goldman Asia-Pacific Chairman Joins Board of India’s Paytm

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Goldman Sachs Group Inc.’s Asia-Pacific Chairman Mark Schwartz has joined the board of One97 Communications Ltd., the company that runs India’s largest mobile payment service, Paytm.

His appointment comes as Paytm prepares to start the country’s first digital payments bank.

“I am confident Mark’s insights would offer excellent leadership for Paytm as we work toward bringing half-a-billion Indians to the mainstream economy,” Vijay Shekhar Sharma, founder and chief executive officer of One97, said in a statement on Monday.

Schwartz has 27 years of experience at Goldman Sachs and is said to have played a major role in steering Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.’s $25 billion IPO in 2014. Alibaba and its affiliate Ant Financial are investors in Paytm.

Schwartz, currently based in Beijing, joined Goldman Sachs’ investment banking department in 1979. After relocating to Tokyo as President of the Japan unit in 1997, he became the Chairman of the Asia Pacific region in 1999. He retired from the firm in 2001 only to regain that role in 2012. He was due to step down at the end of 2016.

India is one of the most dynamic and interesting economies in the world, Schwartz said in the statement, adding he was excited about working with Sharma and his team. New Delhi-based Paytm has over 140 million users and its other investors include MediaTek and Silicon Valley Bank.

Schwartz will be One97’s 12th board member. He joins just after Amit Singhal, the former head of Google Search. Among the other directors are Eric Jing, who was appointed this month as chief executive officer at Ant Financial, and Ratan Tata, who just returned to Tata Group as interim chairman.

(Updates with board details in final paragraph.)
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