SBI Mutual Fund presents Wealth Forum Emerging Advisor Awards 2017


Over the last 4 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.

The 5th edition of the WF Emerging Advisor Awards were presented on 7th July at the Awards Nite in the Wealth Forum Platinum Circle Advisors Conference at Mumbai.

The awards were given away by SBI MF's leadership team including:

Ms. Anuradha Rao, MD

Mr. Nicolas Simon, Deputy CEO

Mr. D P Singh, CMO and

Mr. Sandeep Sharma, Head of Retail Sales

First rising star

Our first rising star comes from Vishakapatnam in Andhra Pradesh. He started his career in financial services in 2001 and worked with leading national distributors, including an 8 year stint at Karvy where he was instrumental in building their MF AuM to 100 crs by the time he left and moved on to IndusInd Bank. In Dec 2014, he decided to strike it out on his own and set up his practice as an IFA. The initial months were a huge disappointment - he found that he couldn't get his old clients to move their business and was staring at a zero AuM. Instead of throwing in the towel, this setback made him even more resolute - he made a promise to himself - he had built a 100 cr AuM as an employee. He did it once, he resolved to do it again. IFAs in Vizag laughed at him when he said that he will build a 100 cr book - no IFA in the city had gone past 30 crs. He started building his book, one client at a time, and focused on retiring and retired investors. His focus is entirely on educating retiring and retired individuals about the need to have an inflation fighting portfolio that will last them the next 25 years, and therefore the need for appropriate hybrid funds in their portfolios. His painstaking efforts over the last 2 years have paid off - today he is already the No 1 IFA in Vizag, with an AuM of Rs. 65 crores - that's twice what people thought was the glass ceiling - and has his sights firmly set on that 100 cr target that was scoffed at not so long ago. He did it once, and he's on his way to do it again - this time on his own.

Our first rising star of the 2017 edition of the Emerging Advisor Awards: Someshwara Rao from Vishakapatnam.


Rising Star: Someshwara Rao from Vishakapatnam

Second rising star

Our second rising star hails from Rajkot in Gujarat. He quit a 10 year career with a leading AMC in June 2015 as he did not want to move out of Rajkot, while his firm was keen on him taking up a larger responsibility in a bigger metro. He quit the company and set up his IFA practice, but took with him all the professionalism that he imbibed from them. So, from day 1, his practice has been compliant with the highest standards of product suitability responsibilities that distributors are obliged to maintain. Every client interaction is documented, every client has a risk profile in place, all recommendations with reasons are documented. Two things are working for him in his quest for growth - his professionalism and the segment he has chosen to focus on. The large businessman community in Rajkot has substantial floats in their current accounts - he first convinces them to experience liquid funds and gain comfort in them as a handy cash management option. With this as his foothold into the relationship, he then moves in to offer a more comprehensive service for the business, the businessman and the family. His target segment is mass affluent clients - families who entrust him with portfolios of Rs. 25 lakhs and above. In 2 years as an IFA, he has signed up 160 families as his clients, with a collective AuM of Rs.66 crores, of which Rs.45 crs is in mutual funds and the rest in PMS, bonds and other assets.

There's more to this rising star than just his business achievements - every Friday and Saturday, he takes time off to conduct IAPs across Gujarat. He has completed over 100 IAPs already. As he says, he teaches as well as learns from these IAPs. While he teaches investors across Gujarat about the benefits of mutual funds, he gets a first hand pulse from them on what they are thinking, how they are reacting - all of which helps him sharpen his skills all the time and enables him to deal with his own clients and prospects with a lot more insight.

Our second rising star - Killol Karia from Rajkot.


Rising Star: Killol Karia, Rajkot

Third rising star

Our third rising star is a young lady from Delhi who started her career in a wealth management firm in 2008, and then decided to take the entrepreneurial plunge in Oct 2014. She had decided, even as she built her book at the firm, to quit when she mustered up an AuM of 50 crores. Within 7 days of hitting that figure, she put in her papers and set out on her own. To her credit, every single of her clients moved their business to her startup - which taught her her first big lesson - brands don't matter, relationships do. In two years from starting up, her AuM crossed Rs.100 crores from 70 families who have trusted her with their savings. With no product related pressures from her firm, she ensures that she always does only the right thing for her clients. And putting her clients interests first always taught her her second big lesson - put your clients interests first, and they will look after your interests. She never has a problem getting referrals - not only do her clients give her referrals willingly, but they sit her down, give a full background of the person referred and then give her background too to the person referred - most of her job is done even before the first meeting. Her clients know where her interests lie and are happy to help her, as they can see her putting only their interests first in all her advice to them. As she grew her practice, she has encountered a lot of talk in the industry on the challenges of direct plans, the challenges of commission disclosures and so on. Her third lesson from hearing all this and experiencing her own client interactions is that most of the challenges are actually in one's own mind.

A wise head that has imbibed the essence of the financial advisory business, a mind that's uncluttered by fears and boundless energy of a successful young entrepreneur have now enabled her to set her sights on an ambitious target: Rs.500 cr AuM in the next 5 years.

Our third rising star - Mani Sharma from Delhi.


Rising Star: Mani Sharma, Delhi

Fourth Rising Star

Our fourth rising star was an investment banker in Mumbai and London, before returning to India and Mumbai in Sep 2014. He spent 6 months understanding the IFA space, met up with many advisors and then took the plunge as an IFA in March 2015, in Mumbai. As a CFA charter holder, he understands numbers very well - but he also understands how to use them in finding and presenting well researched solutions for his clients. His strong advisory skills have won him 90 clients in his first 2 years of practice, enabling him to build an AuM of over Rs. 60 crores.

His strength with numbers and technology are now leading him quite naturally into the robo advisory space - he has got his platform ready in beta mode and is all set to roll it out as the next initiative to supplement his high touch advisory practice.

Our fourth rising star from Mumbai - Anirudh Sheth of Wealth Whispers


Rising star: Anirudh Sheth, Wealth Whispers, Mumbai

Fifth rising star

Our fifth and last rising star for the year is a Mumbai based, purely fee based RIA firm that's raced past Rs.200 crores in assets under advice within just 7 months of the partnership being formed.

Its an interesting partnership of complementary skill sets: one partner has worked extensively in the mutual fund world and the other brings in rich experience from the private wealth world, with a passion and expertise in direct equity advice. Together, they now have a well balanced and rapidly growing book between direct equity and mutual funds - both of which are on a fee only mode - no commissions anywhere for this pure RIA firm.

Complete transparency is a virtue that's very dear to this firm - they send their fee calculation sheets to their clients to let them know exactly how the fees have been arrived at. Likewise, complete accountability is another virtue they practice using a very simple technique. Every communication to clients is always a trail mail - so every client has a complete record of every mail communication ever done, in the same mail trail. It can't get easier for clients to back check any recommendations at any point of time.

They use a platform to take care of their operations, allowing them to focus on client engagement. Today, they serve 45 families with assets over Rs.200 crores, and have their sights set on doubling this in the next 3 years.

The name of this firm is as interesting as their business model. Lord Kubera is seen in Hindu mythology as the Lord of wealth, the guardian of the treasury of the Gods. That's a concept that resonated with the partners about their role, but they were keen on a more contemporary twist to the name.

Thus was born our fifth rising star of 2017, which has already raced into the big league in its very first year - Qber Asset Advisors, run by Manasi Kanade and Aditya Vikram Dube.


Rising Star: Qber Asset Advisors, Mumbai

Wealth Forum congratulates all our rising stars and wishes them glorious careers ahead in their entrepreneurial journeys!

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