Founded in 1997, Centrum had grown to be a respected financial services group, with diversified fee businesses and a rapidly growing lending platform for institutions and individuals. About five years ago, Jaspal Bindra joined the group as executive chairman and investor, bringing with him decades of experience having built the Standard Chartered Bank in Asia. Under his leadership, the Centrum group has diversified its operations to a fee-cum-lending model with the introduction of housing finance, SME & micro-finance businesses. The group is poised to add a small finance bank with the acquisition of the beleaguered PMC Bank.
Centrum Wealth was launched in 2011 when a team of professionals joined – mainly from HSBC’s wealth management division. It’s grown steadily to maintain a respectable position in the top 10 with about 110 RMs and USD 4 b in AUA and is today is a mid-sized wealth firm, aiming to carve a niche for itself with a boutique mindset and offering the full range of products and solutions on an open architecture platform. While the Centrum Group is embarking on significant growth plans for its lending businesses, the growth momentum in the wealth business has been pretty robust – be it assets and customer additions, geographical presence or the proposition suite of products and services.
Centrum Wealth is a full service firm and offers the entire range of products and services – investment services, wealth planning and lending – to a broad spectrum of clients in its target audience – emerging high net worth individuals, single family offices and corporate treasuries. Arpita Vinay, co-head of Centrum Wealth, likes to lead with wealth planning services. “We have consciously invested in and developed credible proficiencies in adjacent areas like taxation support, estate and succession planning, family-business advisory and offshore. With a solutions oriented approach, we constantly strive to deliver on customer needs and requirements on the back of both our proven in-house strengths and capabilities as also leveraging our long-standing and valuable professional partnerships and associations”, she says.
Like most firms in the industry, Centrum claims an open architecture approach though Vinay maintains that it is the “ only company who puts up the outside boundary on what you can allocate to the clients from manufactured products. I don’t think when you profess to be a holistic wealth firm for the client, the distribution arm for your manufacturing capability is the way to go and it requires some amount of intellectual humility to accept that.” The firm claims to cap the internal manufacturing at around 30 percent even though the group has acknowledged expertise.
The Centrum team is split between product and domain specialists and relationship management. Every client has a strong overlay of both the relationship management hierarchy as also domain and product specialists depending upon the engagement with the customer and the customer portfolio.
When asked about the firm’s value proposition, Arpita Vinay pitches “We have always focused on building a boutique platform around client requirements and more importantly we did not want to be product-led or take a one size fits all sort of an approach. With this orientation, we came together and have been able to engineer a platform that blends very well, the processes and controls (which the core team members have imbibed and worked with in their previous roles and that underpin the solidity of large organizations) and at the same time the platform is nimble, responsive and contemporary – traits that are typical to entrepreneurial energy.”
She adds that the firm firmly believes in maintaining an open and transparent communication with clients. This she believes has greatly helped to build trust and credibility, better informed portfolio decisions for clients and a well-balanced approach to client engagement.
Centrum Wealth Management is part of the Centrum Group, which is financial services, with diversified fee businesses and a rapidly growing lending platform for institutions and individuals.
The group was founded in 1997, by Late K.Byramjee and Chandir Gidwani. Currently the promoter holding is 38% with public holding of 56%.
AUA : $4 Bln (INR 30,000 Cr)
Top Line : $ 20 Mn (INR 150 Cr)
Number of RMs : 110
Licenses include –
- Direct Insurance Broking License from IRDAI,
- Acquired FINRA license to start forex operations in USA & UK.
- Mutual fund distributor from AMFI,
- SEBI registered Securities and commodity broker,
- SEBI registered Investment advisor.
- Research Analyst vide SEBI registration,
- Depository Participant vide SEBI registration Portfolio Manager.
Arpita Vinay – Co Head and Whole Time Director – An Electrical Engineer and MBA, Finance, from Faculty of Management Studies (FMS), Delhi, she also holds STEP Professional Postgraduate Diploma in Private Wealth Advising which focuses on cross-border succession, international taxation and family business advising, With more than 15 years of experience in Financial Services across Wealth Management and Private Banking. Linkedin
S Ganashyam- Co-Head and Director – He is a CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) from the CFA Institute, USA and holds a post graduation degree in management from the University of Mumbai. He has played a crucial role in setting up and growing the Wealth Management business at Centrum. He has over 25 years of experience across a range of business including Wealth Management, Private Banking, Institutional and Retail Equities, Equity Research, Portfolio and Investment Advisory Service, Distribution channel Management, Financial Journalism and Databases. Linkedin
- Wealth Management services to HNIs and Family offices,
- Asset Management business offers funds across Private Debt and Venture capital.
- Investment banking,
- SME, MSME and Micro Finance loans and Affordable housing finance in tier 2 and 3 cities and insurance plans across Life, General & Health Insurance.
- An institutional broking desk catering to FIIs, Pension Funds, Indian Mutual Funds, Domestic Institutions and HNIs with widespread coverage on niche midcap companies.
Services offered in private wealth management –
- Real estate
- Equity and debt advisory
- Mutual funds
- Third party PMS
- Structured products- Derivatives,
- Portfolio management service: In-house
- Risk management solutions.
Good companies don’t necessarily mean good stocks. Company focus remains on opportunities which offer “Growth at a Reasonable Price” which is blend of value and growth investing.
- Centrum Wealth Charts a Course to Double AUM and Enhance its Proposition, Hubbis, Mar 5, 2021
Arpita Vinay (co-head) explains the strategy and pathway on how company is going to double the current AUM in three years. She is extremely proud about the culture of their firm which attracts talent from bigger banks and financial institutions. She is bullish in growth space and Alternative assets in 2021 and agree with emerging view that this could be India’s decade. Finally she spoke about how they are going to cope-up the challenge with the next generation who doesn’t want to get into family business where they want to create their own footprints.
- Don’t worry too much about rising bond yields but do monitor these 2 risks, MC, Mar 4 2021
Devang Mehta ( Head- equity advisor) focuses on current situation to pick the quality business at reasonable price points and valuation. His other focus is to look at the qualities of market leadership in the sector rather than a market cap leader.
- Rather than chasing indices, focus should be on understanding key themes, Moneycontrol, 4th Feb, 2021
Devang Mehta ( Head- equity advisor) is bullish on the budget announcements but with a caveat on execution part. He then discussed about the key beneficial sectors from budget, his investment strategy on how to take advantage of market volatility, then thrown some light on their three pillars of their investment philosophy.
- What kind of marketing strategies and business expansion are expected in next three years to double the current AUM?
- What kind of research and analysis is done to find “growth companies at reasonable price”?
- Can you elaborate on the three pillars of investment philosophy?
Prepared by – Subramanian.K, Pooja Jajoo