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Ambit Cap plans to grow private wealth biz 10-fold

Ashok Wadhwa
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Ambit Capital, the private-wealth arm of financial services company Ambit Holdings, was looking at a 10-fold growth in asset under management (AUM) to Rs 5,000 crore in the next three-five years, from the current Rs 500 crore, Chief Executive said.

The Mumbai-based firm started its wealth-management business in April for clients with investible amounts of Rs 10 crore and above. It already has 64 such clients and targets to increase the numebr to about 400 in the next three to five years.

India had one of the fastest growth in the number of millionaires, with over 50 per cent rise in 2009, according to the released last month. According to the report, India has 126,700 millionaires. It defines millionaires as individuals with investible amount of over $1 million (Rs 4.7 crore), excluding homes and consumer durables.

“The private-wealth market is growing rapidly and about 10 of us could be of the same size (with Rs 5,000 crore AUM) in the next three to five years,” said Wadhwa. He expects the total for the industry to grow over Rs 50,000 crore in the next three years to five years. He did not disclose the current figure for AUM in the country.

Several banks and asset management companies are trying to tap the wealthy by providing them services of investing in equities, debt, alternative assets, among others, as the economy grows at more than 8.5 per cent. State Bank of India (SBI) also planned to offer similar services, Chairman said last month. According to estimates, there may be about 40 firms providing the service in India at present.

“We are targeting young generation entrepreneurs and professionals, who are very demanding,” said Wadhwa.

The company aims to offer investment management services in various asset classes, including equity, debt, gold, property, tax and estate advisory services, like its peers, besides offering additional services.

“We will also focus on wealth protection and wealth transmission along with meeting short-term lending requirements of our clients,” said Sutapa Banerjee, chief executive for private-wealth business at Ambit Capital.

Under wealth protection, the company plans to use its insurance-broking arm and in wealth transmission, it will help its clients with wills and trusts. The group also has a non-banking finance company, which it plans to use to give short-term loans of less than one year to its clients.

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