KM Dastur defends its OPaL broker contract

Vol 19, PW 7 (03 Dec 15) People & Policy

Mumbai-based insurance broker KM Dastur is at the centre of a simmering row over its appointment as insurance consultant by OPaL – ONGC’s $4.2bn petrochemicals joint venture in Gujarat with GAIL and GSPC.

In an anonymous letter delivered to the Ahmedabad office of Petrowatch on November 26, it's alleged that OPaL CFO Trinath Behera violated procedure to appoint KM Dastur as insurance consultant without tender soon after his appointment as company CFO on July 1 this year (2015). Unsigned, the letter highlights several perceived irregularities against Behera in the appointment of KM Dastur without offering much in the way of evidence.

It also claims KM Dastur is insurance consultant at Indian Tourism Development Corporation (ITDC), where Behera was director finance before joining OPaL. Contacted by this report, a spokesman for the office of KM Dastur chairman Eric Dastur blames rival brokers for spreading false rumours and vigorously denies impropriety in the OPaL award.

“OPaL ran a process,” he says. “KM Dastur followed that process and was appointed on the basis of its 10-year track record as ONGC’s principal offshore package policy provider.

Even ONGC chairman DK Sarraf is aware of our capabilities from his days as director finance. Our appointment by OPaL was on merit.

” Founded in 1973, KM Dastur Reinsurance Brokers boasts 13 offices across India and nine offices overseas including in Moscow, London, Dubai, Istanbul and Johannesburg.