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Wealth managers tap i-banks for talent

Monday, 10 December 2012 - 8:00am IST | Place: Pune | Agency: DNA
Job-hunting investment bankers, please note: wealth managers want to hire you.

Job-hunting investment bankers, please note: wealth managers want to hire you.

Both foreign and Indian wealth management and private banking firms such as Barclays, India Infoline and Karvy are looking at sourcing talent from the investment banking segment.

For, similar skills are required; and India's talent pool in wealth management is small. “Given the shortage of talent in wealth management, it becomes imperative to look at other avenues for sourcing talent,” said Anirban Banerjee, senior vice-president of human resources at IIFL Private Wealth.

Satya Narayan Bansal, CEO of wealth and investment management at Barclays in India, said that roughly 25% of his workforce now has a corporate or investment banking background.

Similarly, Sunil Mishra, CEO of Karvy Private Wealth, said he has been hiring people from that segment for the last two years. Banerjee said IIFL, too, is looking to recruit investment bankers, including a couple of seniors.

Typically, investment bankers provide banking services including cash management, advice on mergers and acquisitions, so on. Of late, revenues from investment banking have been on the decline, in line with market weakness.

In a sense, job opportunities in wealth management may well prove a godsend for investment bankers in the existing environment. That bankers often share a relationship with the owners of the businesses that they service is a big help as a network of such contacts can come in handy in wealth management.

With ex-investment bankers in charge, the wealth management segment may be able to tap owners of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) which contribute over $200 billion (Rs10.8 lakh crore) to India's economic output, said some observers.

“Investment bankers bring valuable relationships on board, especially with SME owners. Hence, I feel that bankers working in the SME and the mid-market tiers are a good fit for wealth management,” said Mishra. He should know: he has added around five bankers to his team in the last couple of years.

Banerjee of IIFL said it often helps private bankers or wealth managers snag deals involving family businesses which may be looking at inorganic growth opportunities or stake sales.

“On one hand, an investment bank may not service such deals, as they deem these transactions small. On the other hand, trusted accounting counsels are not always equipped to handle such transactions. So, it makes for an interesting opportunity for a private wealth management company to be able to fill this void,” he said.

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