SBI Mutual Fund presents
Wealth Forum Emerging Advisor Awards, 2016


Over the last 3 years, SBI MF has partnered with Wealth Forum in the quest to put a spotlight on emerging talent in the IFA space. Recognizing rising stars in the IFA space, creating awareness of their success stories, profiling how they are overcoming challenges that new entrepreneurs face in this business - all of this we firmly believe - serve as a motivation and an inspiration to new IFAs who choose to take the entrepreneurial plunge. Wealth Forum is very grateful to SBI MF for their continued support in this endeavour, which saw the 4th annual edition of these awards being given out on July 1st, 2016 at Mumbai.

This edition of the awards were given by Mr. Dinesh Khara, MD, SBI MF, Mr. D.P.Singh, CMO, SBI MF and Mr. Sandeep Sharma, Head of Retail Sales, SBI MF. The event commenced with Mr. Khara sharing his perspectives on an issue that has become a little sensitive among the IFA fraternity - which is about building an inclusive growth model in the mutual fund industry. An inclusive growth model doesn't refer here to the investor perspective - rather, it refers to the intermediation perspective - about building a growth model within the industry that takes all intermediation channels along, especially small IFAs - who are feeling a little threatened right now that they may become victims of change rather than be growth catalysts for the industry. Mr. Khara spelt out his vision for industry growth and how SBI MF is working closely with the IFA community to ensure that it manages change effectively, thus enabling it to grow along with the rest of the industry.

Six rising stars

Six rising stars were recognized in this year's awards ceremony - three from the metros and three from smaller cities.

First rising star

Our first rising star in the IFA world worked for 10 years in leading distribution business houses including Bajaj Capital and HDFC Bank, before deciding to pursue his entrepreneurial instinct. He operates from the small but rapidly growing city of Nashik in Maharashtra. His motivation was to move from a culture of monthly targets to an ethos of putting client interests first. Two of his colleagues joined him in this adventure and they set up shop 5 years ago - in 2011. It was a difficult time in the market those days, and the initial tryst with entrepreneurship was tough. Despite the challenges of the market environment and a young business, he focused on doing the right thing for clients - which often meant staying invested in liquid funds which earned him next to nothing.

Over the last 5 years, he has built his business one client at a time to reach a level today where he serves 500 clients, with a mutual fund AuM of 73 crores and a further 35 crores in direct equities. He runs an STP book of Rs. 40 lakhs where he is consistently moving client money from debt to equity - in phases. He has now set himself a target of ramping up his SIP book from Rs. 20 lakhs to Rs. 50 lakhs and his AuM to Rs.100 crores by the end of this financial year.

Our first rising star from Nashik - Amol Pagare


(L - R): D.P. Singh, Amol Pagare, Dinesh Khara, Sandeep Sharma, Vijay Venkatram (WF)

Second rising star

Our second rising star is an interesting duo from Amritsar. One of the partners had 13 years of experience in the banking, insurance and mutual funds world, before deciding to join hands with a distributor to set up a new IFA firm in September 2013. Joining hands was the easy part, building a business was a challenge. They decided to go into uncharted waters to build their business, and started targeting risk averse bank FD loving HNIs who had sizeable assets, but no interest in mutual funds. Starting from getting their KYCs done, to helping them understand that mutual funds are not only about equity to getting them first comfortable with liquid funds and then onto debt funds, then onto balanced funds and then finally some allocations into equity funds - its been an eventful journey for this duo. Today, their efforts are paying off handsomely, with a 70 crore AuM from 75 client families, and a debt equity mix of 48% to 52%. They have clients not only from Amritsar, but also from Jammu, Pathankot, Jalandhar and Ludhiana. A second branch has now been opened in Jalandhar and plans are afoot to consider a third one in Ludhiana.

Our second rising star from Amritsar: Vijay Rana and Manu Jain, Mutual Cafe.


(L-R): D.P. Singh, Manu Jain, Dinesh Khara, Vijay Rana, Sandeep Sharma, Vijay Venkatram (WF)

Third rising star

Our third rising star this year is 32 years of age and hails from Bhavnagar - a small city in Gujarat. After a decade long stint at Karvy and ICICI Securities, he set sail as an entrepreneur in Nov 2014 - less than 2 years ago. Unmindful of the relatively small size of his market, he decided to focus initially on affluent investors in his region - who primarily operate in the diamond business and the ship breaking business. Within less than 2 years, he has built up a mutual fund AuM of 97 crores, of which 42 crores is in equity funds, 30 crores in debt funds and 25 crores in liquid funds. Today, he serves 350 individual clients and 20 corporate clients.

He has already stretched his arms beyond Bhavnagar and has set up an office in Ahmedabad and more recently in Mumbai. Beyond mutual funds, he is also very active in the debt and quasi-debt space for HNI, corporate and institutional investors, and has placed over Rs.300 crores in convertible redeemable preference shares and perpetual bonds.

Our third rising star in the IFA space: Samir Vora of Ocean Finvest, Bhavnagar


(L-R): D.P.Singh, Samir Vora, Dinesh Khara, Sandeep Sharma, Vijay Venkatram (WF)

Fourth rising star

Our fourth rising star quit a promising career in a global bank to set up his practice as an IFA two years ago in 2014, in Chennai. He is a very sharply focused young man with a clear customer proposition for the HNI segment. He has intentionally kept his client base low - preferring to give quality time to manage key relationships rather than embarking on a customer acquisition drive. He chose to utilize a platform from day 1 - recognizing that the platform will free him from operational issues that consume so much of your time when you make the shift from a banker to an entrepreneur. His practice revolves around delivering an unparalleled experience through implementation of basic wealth management principles. Two years into this profession, he manages - out of choice - only 16 client families, but his AuM has grown to over Rs. 70 crores which includes Rs. 55 crores in mutual funds and the rest spread across overseas investments and alternate investments.

Our fourth rising star - Sunil Sebastian, Radiant Orchid Investments, Chennai


(L-R): D.P.Singh, Sunil Sebastian, Dinesh Khara, Sandeep Sharma, Vijay Venkatram (WF)

Fifth rising star

Our fifth rising star is from the city of Pune. He worked with HSBC for 5 years before deciding to set up his independent practice. His firm has got a very interesting name - which reflects his ethos. Its called Degree 212. Water, he says, boils and lets out steam at 212 degrees farenheit. Until 211 degrees, this hot water is not of much use. Its when that additional 1% heat is given to water that it starts producing steam - and steam as we know has been a source of energy that catalysed the entire industrial revolution. His firm aims to offer that delta 1% to client portfolios in the form of superior advice, which can power their portfolios to help them achieve their financial objectives. In the last 4 years of his firm's existence, it does appear that this 1% is being delivered, since it is only referrals that has helped his firm grow to an AuM of around 70 crores with close to 50 crs in equity, serving 320 client families. Its not easy to make the transition he says, from a banker to an IFA - you have your relationships on one side, but you need to quickly invest in creating an infrastructure that serves clients the way a large organization does. And then of course there is that 1% touch to power their portfolios.

Our fifth rising star: Pravin Budhauilya, Degree 212, Pune


(L-R): D.P.Singh, Pravin Budhauliya, Dinesh Khara, Sandeep Sharma, Vijay Venkatramm (WF)

Sixth rising star

Our sixth and final rising star for this year's awards can't really be called a rising star. What do you say for a firm that started out just a year ago, but is already in the top 100 independent advisory firms in India by AuM? In July 2015, a team that comprised the core of a global bank's private banking unit in Delhi branched out to set up a multi-family investment office. It is a testimony to this team's quality and the faith that their ultra HNI clients have in the team's abilities, that they agreed to transition their considerable assets to what was essentially a brand new firm.

In just one year of operations, this firm has an AuM of over 700 crores - of which 440 crores are in mutual funds, 185 crores in bonds and 80 crores in alternate assets. And this is just the beginning for this firm, which has a lot more up its sleeve.

Our final rising star: Kunal Kaul and Samrat Banerjee of Blue Edge Associates, Delhi


(L-R): D.P.Singh, Samrat Banerjee, Dinesh Khara, Kunal Kaul, Sandeep Sharma, Vijay Venkatram (WF)


Kunal Kaul of Blue Edge Associates shares his perspectives on how successful bankers are setting sail as entrepreneurs and why an independent platform as an IFA is perhaps better placed today to serve ultra HNIs than bank owned platforms.

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