The Indian economy is growing at a robust rate -- it could outpace China as the world's fastest growing economy as soon as this year, according to International Monetary Fund (IMF) Director Christine Lagarde. Along with the fact that the number of wealthy in India is increasing exponentially, it spells great promise for home-grown wealth management companies.
A recent report by Cognizant Technology Solutions Corp, capturing the trends and challenges of the industry, however finds that most wealth management firms are found wanting when it comes to garnering trust and educating and engaging clients. Trust is the most vital ingredient and the basis of any relationship -- and nowhere does this ring truer than the relationship financial organizations form with their clients. Having spent a substantial number of years working in the financial sector, IIFL Private Wealth Co-Founders Yatin Shah, Karan Bhagat and Amit Shah were familiar with the gaps that plagued the wealth management industry when they started the company in 2008.
Seven years later, client-centricity and trust-building continue to be a part of the core value system. “We have built a strong alignment of interest – by eliminating distribution incentives thus being on the same side of the table as the client. Also employees owing as much as 24 per cent of the company, they are able to take a long-term view of the firm and the client,” explains Co-Founder and Executive Director Yatin Shah.
Besides, an array of best practice measures has helped IIFL Private Wealth create a 360 degree, all-encompassing advisory service and ensure that its interactions with clients are relationship-driven and honed by trust. For instance, its fixed fee structure as opposed to a commission-based practice translates into considerable cost savings for its clients. This, in turn, has earned it strong client referrals that add to its fantastic growth story, year on year. Today, it is the largest private wealth management company in India with more than INR 80,000 Crs. of assets under advice.
At IIFL Private Wealth, wealth management goes beyond the standard asset management to cover wealth management (Preparation of an investment mandate, and establishing objectives and strategies in accordance with the client risk appetite, income/liquidity requirements, asset allocation, time horizon); Wealth administration (A vast array of intricate financial planning and management tools, largely aided by technology and involves the creation of an Asset Register and Investment Reporting) and Wealth structuring (Asset protection and ring fencing of holdings within global, legal and tax frameworks as well as organizing and structuring business and personal assets).
Adds Vinay Ahuja, Managing Partner, “Besides, we emphasize the importance of client education and awareness through our array of client events and conclaves. Enhanced by superior client servicing, and technology, the exceptional client experience fosters bonds of trust.”
Most importantly, the firm invariably comes up with first-in-class innovative products with great returns leveraging current socio-economic moods. For instance, the NDA Fund was launched post the new NDA government coming to power. And while the "Start Up India, Stand Up India" campaign has just been announced by the central government, IIFL Private Wealth has already incepted its new seed venture fund which will invest in funds that in turn are investing in start-ups and path-breaking ideas.
Leveraging Technology to Stay Ahead In the Game
Technology has emerged as a key differentiator in the wealth management industry. With wealth creation happening at a younger age, a company which can adapt to the technological changes faster will emerge as a winner. Yatin avers, “We have been at the forefront of providing new technology solutions to our clients and have recently unravelled our digital platforms – an enhanced website, www.iiflw.com, as well as an app for Android and Apple platforms. As a true reflection of a responsive interface, this updated site allows for a superior user experience across multiple platforms, browsers and devices. The launch of Caliber, an intranet software with a single sign on feature has also made our internal processes extremely swift.”
At IIFL Private Wealth, wealth management goes beyond the standard asset management to cover wealth management
These efforts have been supplemented by the launch of the IIFL Market and IIFL Research app on Android and Apple that boosts the advisory services with live stock prices, research from institutional equities, new stock ideas, strategy notes, in-depth data and analysis of market trends.
IIFL’s award winning technology helps it to quickly handle queries, generate higher productivity, provide efficiency, ensure better retentions and pursue new business prospects. Vinay further adds, “We always say that we are not just into the business of wealth creation but also wealth preservation.” The basic credo of the organization -- Product, Platform and Proposition— is further enhanced by the team of 400 best in class employees with impeccable industry records.
Yatin sums up, “From our humble origins, starting off as a small 7 employee firm to the 400 at present, to the first flush of awards in 2010, to our increasing footprints in 14 offices in India and 8 internationally, we have painstakingly recorded each achievement, without ever taking any of it for granted.”