Edelweiss talks wealth management in India

Anurag Mehrotra, head of wealth management at Indian investment bank Edelweiss Capital, discusses the firm's private banking business.
Edelweiss Capital is a domestic, full-service investment bank which IPOed in November 2007 to an overwhelming response. We talk to Anurag Mehrotra, the head of wealth management at Edelweiss, about the firm's private banking strategy.

What prompted Edelweiss to start offering wealth management services in India?
We perceive a big opportunity in wealth management. According to our internal estimates, the wealth industry in India in the next three years is going to be a close to Rs50 billion ($1.2 billion) in revenue potential. Also, in the Indian private banking industry, the prevalence is for a distribution model rather than an advisory model, thus we felt there is a need to build up an advisory-based wealth management business

How many people is your private banking practice?
We have a team of 125 across four locations: Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore and Kolkata.

What is your typical client profile?
Ultra high-net-worth individuals and high-net-worth individuals with an investible surplus of half a million (dollars) and above, as well as corporates and trusts.

What is your competitive advantage vis-a-vis a number of global wealth management firms enhancing their focus on India?
We provide advice on a wide range of products covering equity, fixed income, real estate and alternative asset products such as structured products, art and private equity. Our advisory services are backed by Edelweiss macroeconomic, equity and other research, thus the benefit of our research is available to our private banking clients.

We can leverage the Edelweiss group relationships across businesses for the benefit of our wealth management clients. We have the ability to manufacture and customise products based on the needs of individual clients. We take a 360 degree view û an ôAll-in-One Approachö to our service. Thus, our clients have a dedicated wealth manager and servicing team.

What advice are you currently offering your clients given the volatile markets?
We are advising clients to invest in structured products at the moment, primarily debentures (a type of debt instrument) with a capital protection feature inbuilt in them. They are index-linked thus enable participation in the equity market. We are also advising clients on systematic investing in equities with a longer term view. We believe this period of volatile markets can be used to consolidate investments and build up a good base for long-term wealth creation.
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