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Indian wealth manager targets growth with 33 new hires

Indian wealth manager targets growth with 33 new hires

Just four weeks after its official launch, Mumbai-headquartered WGC Wealth has gone on a mass hiring spree, poaching 33 executives from ICICI Securities Private Wealth Management.

Twenty six of the ICICI hires are relationship managers, bringing the total number of client-facing staff members at WGC Wealth to 70.

Among the hires is Maneesh Kapoor, a senior regional head at ICICI who has been named executive director for North and East India at WGC.

Sailesh Balachandran, the former south regional head at ICICI, has also joined as an executive director.

WGC Wealth, the wealth management arm of Indian financial services firm Wadhawan Global Capital, was formally launched in August, and now has 100 employees.

The firm is looking to expand the team to 150 people by the end of this financial year, WGC CEO Atul Singh said in a statement.

Growth plans

WGC is the latest wealth manager attempting to capture a market with $1.5 trillion of investable wealth and over $600 billion of savings that could flow into financial instruments.

Speaking to Citywire Asia, board member Srinath Sridharan said the firm has two target client segments: high-net-worth individuals (HNWIs) with over $5 million in investable assets, and affluent clients.

The businesses fall under WGC Private Clients and WGC Wealth Management, respectively.

WGC Private Clients will particularly focus on winning net new money from the second generation of wealthy individuals, who have recently inherited wealth and are in search of new wealth managers, as well as new-age entrepreneurs who are looking for more than just a sales pitch.

‘The way of wealth management in India, the growth we have seen in the last 10 years, has been sales. It doesn’t work anymore,’ Srinath said.

Consequently, the firm will advise resident Indians not only on investments and lending, but also on succession planning and family office structuring from its offices in Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai, Goa and Hyderabad.

To that end, it has signed partnerships with service providers for tax planning, trust structuring, immigration services and legal advice, among others.

In a bid to lower conflicts of interest, the firm has adopted a fee-based revenue model where clients pay advisory fees. It has also steered clear of creating in-house funds.

It is, however, accepting retrocessions from the 40 asset managers it has partnered.

‘Sebi [Securities and Exchange Board of India] is talking about segregating advice and distribution and we are structured ready for that,’ Srinath said.

With rising costs related to regulations and technology, the executive said that having a digital strategy is also crucial in the wealth management space, especially when serving affluent clients.

As a result, WGC Wealth has implemented robo advisory solution Valuefy, which provides digital wealth and investment management to client.

It is built on top of the wealth manager's core banking platform developed by Infosys Finacle.

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