Pioneering family office advisory
Launched in 2011, Waterfield Advisors was neither the first multi-family office, nor was it the first to operate on a fee-based investment advisory business model. However, it appears it was the first to combine the two concepts and scale it to the largest true multi-family office in the country. Until then, the so-called family offices services were really wealth management services, still using commission-driven business models. why do they have AMFI registration?
Started by veteran private banker, Soumya Rajan, with silent partner Sanjay Teli, the firm took a strategic investment by the Patni family early on. In late 2019, a news report stated that it had raised $6 million in a fresh equity funding round, led by a consortium of investors including New York-based Zephyr management LP, TVS Capital Fund and Gaurav Dalmia of Dalmia group holdings. The company said the freshly infused capital will be used to augment the advisory platform, acquire high-quality talent, build client-centric technology enablers, and power global expansion.
Overseas expansion through partnership
Waterfield Advisors has partnered with New York-based Zephyr to help ultra HNIs to diversify portfolios across global asset classes.The new platform will allow investors access to a diverse class of products across the world in public and private markets, both the companies said in a news report. The partnership will also seek to advise international family offices on their India allocations.
Building investment expertise
The firm built a sizable investment team headed by Munish Randev until about 18 months ago. Now it has a dual head of investments model – Nimish Shah for traditional investments and x for alternative investments.
Talking about the investment philosophy, Nimish Shah said “we first look at their risk pool allocations, and then look at the asset allocation matter on a holistic level”. He elaborated once the strategic objectives are set they give importance to the tactical aspect by taking tactical calls depending on the market movements, whether it is within equity, within asset classes because that is what will make the subtle difference to the portfolio and the returns there on. They also add gold and overseas assets as an important part of their client’s portfolio.
Describing the process of selecting funds, Shah mentioned that they have a yearly qualitative questionnaire which goes out to all asset management companies which helps them to understand the overall fund management and their consistency in what they are delivering.
Besides factor analysis, they also look at the attribution and contribution analysis by using artificial intelligence models where they are tied up with those companies which helps them to know which groups are sensitive as of now and which companies to probably put under watch.
Backing its conviction in fund selection, especially in alternatives, Waterfield Advisors recently raised $100 million in a fund-of-funds (FoF) AIF from Indian family offices, which will invest in homegrown private equity and venture capital funds.
In another first, Waterfield aims to help clients to allocate capital in a manner that fully optimises the opportunities and minimizes the risks to various environmental,social and governance (ESG) factors. It is the first advisory firm in Asia to become a signatory of the United Nations-supported Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI). PRI is recognised as the leading global network of firms who are committed to integrating ESG considerations into their investment practices and ownership policies.
Philanthropy as more than engagement
Waterfield stresses on offering philanthropic advice as a key part of their service offer.
Founded by Soumya Rajan and Sanjay Teli in 2011 as a Multi-Family Office MFO) and boutique advisory firm.
Serve more than 70 prominent Indian business families.
First financial services firm in the country to introduce the concept of a “fee-paid-by-the-client” only for investment advisory services in wealth management.
Company has two broad service offerings, namely – Family Office and Corporate Advisory Services.
Total employees: 60 (2020). Relationship managers/ advisers: 30 (2019, Asian Private Banker)
Assets under management: USD 3.5 Billion (Company Website)
Segments they serve – Entrepreneurs (both, first and subsequent generations), UHNW and HNW family and individuals
Licenses include –
Registered Investment Adviser (RIA)
AMFI registration number ARN 83967.
Soumya Rajan-Founder & CEO – Has over 25 years of experience and has done her Masters in Mathematics from University of Oxford and Bachelors in Mathematics from St. Stephens College, University of Delhi.
Nimish Shah – Chief Investment Officer, Listed Investments – 25 years of resourceful experience in Capital Markets across diverse asset classes and platforms and done his MBA from Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies.
Saurabh Agrawal-Chief Financial Officer – A chartered accountant by qualification, Saurabh has more than 12 years of experience within the Advisory function.
- Financial Planning:
- Investment Management Services
- Philanthropic Management
- Life Management and Budgeting
- Risk Management and Insurance Services
- Compliance and Regulatory Assistance
- Tax and Legal Advisors
- Training and Education
- Estate and Wealth Transfer
- Business and Financial Advisory
- Reporting and Record Keeping
- Succession Planning
- Administrative Services
Investment Philosophy (for firm)
As per company website -To provide holistic advice to our clients that secures their long term financial well-being.Experience in the financial services space has given us an insight into what clients need and are able to offer services based on trust, transparency and a no conflict of interest approach in all our client dealings.
Multi-family office and advisory firm Waterfield Advisors is raising a $100 million fund of funds (FoF) from Indian family offices, which will back successful homegrown private equity (PE) and venture capital (VC) funds, Livemint,26Th Feb, 2021.
Multi-family office and advisory firm Waterfield Advisors is raising a $100 million fund of funds (FoF) from Indian family offices, which will back successful homegrown private equity (PE) and venture capital (VC) funds.
A FoF is a pooled fund which invests capital in other funds, allowing its investors diversified access to fund managers, instead of directly investing in individual funds and managing them. While FoFs are major investors in alternative investment funds such as PE, VC, credit and infrastructure globally, in India, there are hardly such structures available currently for HNIs and family offices.
Waterfield Advisors becomes signatory of UN- supported principles for responsible investment, 17th Feb, 2021
Advisory firm Waterfield Advisors has become a signatory of the United Nations-supported Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI). The firm becomes the first wealth advisory firm in Asia to join the organisation. PRI is recognised as the leading global network of firms who are committed to integrating environmental, social and governance (ESG) considerations into their investment practices and ownership policies.
Waterfield expects $5 billion AUM in 2 years; launches global platform with Zephyr, The Economics Times, July 31,2020
Waterfield Advisors expects to have at least $5 billion assets under management within the next 18-24 months as the Mumbai-based multi-family office advisory firm plans to offer wealth management services with New York-based Zephyr to help ultra HNIs to diversify portfolios across global asset classes.The new platform will allow investors access to a diverse class of products across the world in public and private markets, both the companies said.
Mumbai-based multi-family office Waterfield Advisors raise $6M in equity round, YourStory, 19th December, 2019 https://yourstory.com/2019/12/funding-alert-mumbai-multi-family-office-waterfield-advisors
Mumbai-based multi-family office Waterfield Advisors has raised $6 million in a fresh equity funding round, led by a consortium of investors including New York-based Zephyr management LP, TVS capital fund and Gaurav Dalmia of Dalmia group holdings. The company said the freshly infused capital will be used to augment the advisory platform, acquire high-quality talent, build client-centric technology enablers, and power global expansion. Through its international offices, the company will also seek to advise international family offices on their India allocations.
- Where are we at with respect to ESG/impact investing? Is it still lip service?
- Within the overall investment philosophy, pls share your philosophy on selecting funds/products. What are the most important criteria?
Prepared by – Yash Chhabra, March 2021, Peer reviewed by – Chaitanya, March 8, 2020
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