While late to the party, Krishnamurthy is upbeat about its progress and future prospects, citing ‘One Axis’ as its USP. Due to its various divisions – securities/investment banking, asset management etc – being under one umbrella and control, he feels Axis Bank is able to offer a much more cohesive service to its affluent and HNW clients.
Burgundy – sincerity and privilege
Axis Bank restarted its affluent wealth management division in 2014 with the appointment of Satheesh Krishnamurthy and eventual launch of the Burgundy brand with Deepika Padukone as brand ambassador. The brand ‘Burgundy’ reflects sincerity and privilege, hence the positioning that it’s for the most privileged customers. Marketed to the emerging affluent, Burgundy is basically Axis Bank’s affluent/wealth division. It crossed more than INR 200,000 crore under AUA which puts them at the top of the table.
Describing their differentiation, Krishnamurthy mentions three fundamental blocks, calling it the three “Is”. The first is ‘Intellect’ where the acumen is to identify who are the fund managers who have built a very strong track record over the years. The second pillar is ‘Integrity’ as Axis Bank has been a substantial player for the last 26 years. The third pillar is around ‘Innovation’ where they focus on helping the new entrepreneurs.
“Our clients should not be wasting time trying to discover these avenues. And the biggest worry they have is they want to work with a very trusted name, who can really handhold them right and a large institution like ours. If you’re managing two lakh crores of AUA, we have significant experience now in terms of what customers need to be cautious about, the legal protections that the customer should build and so on. So, we help them on multiple faces,” said Krishnamurthy (while talking about the firm’s expertise).
Conservative investment philosophy
“We have a bit of a conservative bias; it comes to the way we look at it. The good part is that we are not just a bank at the group level we’re also an investment bank we also an asset management. We’re also a NBFC, also a brokerage. So that allows us to put our collective strength together. When it comes to evaluating, you know, either developments in the market, or what is happening to a particular asset,” said Apurva Sahijwani, head of products & services.
Burgundy Private – Covid-toddler already
Axis launched its private banking division as Burgundy Private in late 2019/early 2020 and has already crossed AUA of INR 50,000 crores. Krishnamurthy confirmed the division has essentially grown through COVID, and currently manages over 1600 families.. .”out of the top Forbes 100, almost 24 of these families are with us.”
“We have a very strong reach, but our private client’s business has now expanded to 26 cities across the length and breadth of the country…so today, even in smaller markets. Today we have our presence of the pipeline team, and the ability to use with large families that industrial houses professionals who begin from those geographies and then engage with them in terms of giving them the right solutions is very much there. So, the scalability that we will see with a paradigm business like ours will be huge” said Sahijwani.
to write – ownership, financials
Assets under Advice – INR x cr (~USD 10bn)
From mutual funds
Cost to income ratio – x%
CEO/Head of business – Satheesh Krishnamurthy
CIO/Head, Products & Services – Apurva Sahijwani
Number of RMs – approx 100
Key take-aways from website and media interviews
MMI, May 2021
Summary and key-take-aways
Summary and key take-aways