WEALTH ON A ROLL

Marwar - - Contents - Top: Anirudha Ta­paria Text Joseph Rozario

Does your wealth grow on its own, or does it rust and fret in a vault, only to be frit­tered away? Gold put to use, more gold begets; and it is this line of rea­son­ing that drives wealth man­age­ment ex­perts, among whom Anirudha Ta­paria, the ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of IIFL Wealth Man­age­ment Ltd, is an out­stand­ing ex­am­ple.

Money no doubt rules the world, but ever won­dered who rules money! What hap­pens to the pile that you have stashed away? Does it grow on its own, or does it rust and fret in a vault, only to be frit­tered away? Gold put to use, more gold begets; and it is this line of rea­son­ing that drives wealth man­age­ment ex­perts, among whom Anirudha Ta­paria, the ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of IIFL Wealth Man­age­ment Ltd, is an out­stand­ing ex­am­ple.

HAV­ING GROOMED HIM­SELF RIGHT from his col­lege days to be man of fi­nance and then hav­ing spent all 16 years of work­ing life hon­ing his skills, Anirudha Ta­paria had to find his ca­reer graph ris­ing steadily, and it has. As the ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of IIFL Wealth Man­age­ment Ltd to­day, he is re­spon­si­ble for bring­ing growth across the com­pany’s var­i­ous busi­ness ver­ti­cals and ge­ogra­phies, his ef­forts hav­ing con­trib­uted re­mark­ably to mak­ing the firm the largest in the In­dian wealth man­age­ment arena. Fi­nance in the blood But why did he train him­self to be a fi­nance ex­pert? In re­sponse, Ta­paria says, “It was a nat­u­ral call­ing. For Mar­waris, fi­nance is not taught; it is in­grained in our blood.” His claims may well be true, given Mar­waris’ leg­endary num­ber crunch­ing abil­i­ties and, of course, their time-hon­oured prac­tice of mas­ter­ing fi­nance as an in­dis­pens­able step to run­ning an en­ter­prise suc­cess­fully. And Ta­paria is as true blue a Mar­wari as they come!

“I grew up in a Mar­wari busi­ness fam­ily hail­ing from Jaswant­garh in Ra­jasthan,” says Anirudha Ta­paria, ac­quaint­ing us with his back­ground. “Our fam­ily had var­i­ous busi­nesses in di­verse in­dus­tries, in­clud­ing ce­ment, fer­tilis­ers, chem­i­cals, con­struc­tion and trad­ing.” As these busi­nesses were based in Kota, which didn’t have good schools, rather than have him fol­low tra­di­tion and join the fam­ily busi­ness, Ta­paria’s el­ders sent him to Ajmer in­stead, where he schooled. Af­ter that he moved to Delhi for his grad­u­a­tion and then to Sym­bio­sis Cen­tre for Man­age­ment & HRD in Pune for an MBA in fi­nance. Up­wardly mo­bile Done with aca­demics, Anirudha Ta­paria joined ICICI Bank in 2000, where he was part of the mort­gage busi­ness team. In 2002, he moved to the Citi Group, where he worked on both the as­sets and the li­a­bil­i­ties side of the busi­ness for about a decade, un­til the Mar­wari en­tre­pre­neur­ial bug caught up with him. With that, he joined IIFL Wealth Man­age­ment Ltd in 2012.

Rem­i­nisc­ing, Ta­paria says, “I had been meet­ing Karan Bha­gat [Karan Bha­gat is the founder, MD and CEO of IIFL Wealth Man­age­ment Ltd] at a few com­mon clients’ of­fices whilst we were pitch­ing from our re­spec­tive or­gan­i­sa­tions. We struck a con­ver­sa­tion and hit the right notes, our ide­olo­gies matched and so did our vi­sion, and this cul­mi­nated in me join­ing IIFL. The team at IIFL In­vest­ment at that time op­er­ated like a start-up, in both vi­sion and ac­tion, so in­stead of me start­ing from scratch, I de­cided to join a mov­ing ship.”

Founded by Karan Bha­gat, Yatin Shah and Amit Shah in Mumbai in 2008, IIFL Wealth Man­age­ment, as the name im­plies, spe­cialises in wealth man­age­ment, which en­tails of­fer­ing var­i­ous ser­vices such as as­set man­age­ment, lend­ing so­lu­tions, cor­po­rate ad­vi­sory, es­tate plan­ning, etc. Its clien­tele in­cludes 10,000 high net worth (HNIs) and ul­tra high net worth in­di­vid­u­als (UHNIs) from the world over, who range from busi­ness lead­ers to me­dia moguls to first­gen­er­a­tion en­trepreneurs to se­nior-most pro­fes­sion­als.

Man­ag­ing wealth

Wealth man­age­ment in­volves man­ag­ing the wealth of the wealthy, through the ser­vices of a wealth man­ager (who is backed by a team), the ob­jec­tive be­ing to aug­ment, pre­serve and cre­ate wealth for in­di­vid­u­als or in­sti­tu­tions, keep­ing in mind their risk ap­petites, fi­nan­cial goals, age and unique in­vest­ment needs. It en­com­passes all kinds of fi­nan­cial so­lu­tions and ser­vices in­clud­ing fi­nan­cial and in­vest­ment ad­vice, ac­count­ing and tax ser­vices, re­tire­ment plan­ning and le­gal or es­tate plan­ning. IIFL Wealth Man­age­ment spe­cialises in all these ser­vices which are pro­vided un­der one roof, with­out hav­ing the client run­ning to var­i­ous ex­perts or banks for each in­di­vid­ual ser­vice, and this gives the firm the edge it en­joys over com­peti­tors. It also of­fers a host of other client-cen­tric fa­cil­i­ties be­sides. The firm has elim­i­nated dis­tri­bu­tion in­cen­tives, for ex­am­ple—a pro­client ini­tia­tive. Fur­ther, the firm’s em­ploy­ees own stake in the com­pany which en­sures sta­bil­ity to the team ser­vic­ing the client, and this goes a long way in the team be­ing seen as a re­li­able, trust­wor­thy and long-stand­ing re­source by the client. In ad­di­tion, the com­pany of­fers a list of tech­nol­ogy and re­search backed ser­vices and a wide va­ri­ety of tools to help re­la­tion­ship man­agers of­fer quick and ef­fi­cient ser­vices and the at­ten­tion that clients de­serve. Ini­tia­tives like launch of new tech­nol­ogy so­lu­tions—keep­ing in mind the ever-in­creas­ing pop­u­la­tion of youth wealth cre­ators— in­tro­duc­tion of the in­no­va­tive ‘All-in-Fee’ struc­ture and the pi­o­neer­ing ‘Fam­ily Of­fice Propo­si­tion’ have also helped the firm be­come the most trusted wealth man­age­ment firm in the country. Over the years, it has won 60 re­puted awards, the lat­est be­ing the Asian Pri­vate Banker Award for Dis­tinc­tion for Best Wealth Man­ager – In­dia Do­mes­tic 2017. It also is the top wealth man­age­ment firm in the country with over R140,000 crore of as­sets un­der man­age­ment, ad­vice and dis­tri­bu­tion and has pres­ence in 8 ma­jor global fi­nan­cial hubs and 23 lo­ca­tions in In­dia and around the world, the head­quar­ters be­ing in Mumbai.

Why wealth man­age­ment

But why have a wealth man­ager at all, which ob­vi­ously en­tails a fee? Ta­paria ex­plains: “The wealthy don’t gen­er­ally have the time or in­cli­na­tion to man­age their money, which is spread across var­i­ous as­set classes such as real es­tate, equities, bonds, cash and fixed-in­come se­cu­ri­ties. A wealth man­ager can iden­tify op­por­tu­ni­ties that an in­di­vid­ual may not have known or con­sid­ered. More­over, a wealth man­ager is in­trin­si­cally in­volved in a client’s port­fo­lio and mon­i­tors his or her in­vest­ments in a de­tailed man­ner to give the best pos­si­ble risk-ad­justed re­turns, with­out ex­pos­ing the port­fo­lio to risk.”

With 18 years of ex­pe­ri­ence in the fi­nan­cial ser­vices and con­sumer, com­mer­cial and pri­vate bank­ing, Anirudha Ta­paria has helped IIFL Man­age­ment forge strong client re­la­tion­ships. From the time he has joined the com­pany, it has grown ex­po­nen­tially and part of this credit goes to him. So what does he at­tribute the firm’s suc­cess to? “We value our prin­ci­ples as much as we value our suc­cesses,” says Ta­paria. “We are trans­par­ent about our busi­ness and our com­mis­sions; we are re­spon­sive to our clients’ chang­ing needs; we have an un­wa­ver­ing com­mit­ment to the suc­cess of each port­fo­lio; we of­fer spe­cial­ist ad­vice that rely on re­search and data; and we are thought lead­ers in terms of our poli­cies and ap­proach. These ini­tia­tives have con­trib­uted to our suc­cess.”

Brighter hori­zons

Hav­ing come thus far, Ta­paria is up­beat about the future of IIFL Wealth Man­age­ment, given re­cent de­vel­op­ments such as the de­merger an­nounced by hold­ing com­pany IIFL Hold­ings (which owns 54% in IIFL Wealth Man­age­ment) and the ‘In­vest­ment Ad­vi­sors Reg­u­la­tions 2013’ is­sued by the Se­cu­ri­ties and Ex­change Board of In­dia’s (SEBI). While the for­mer will re­sult in IIFL Wealth Man­age­ment en­list­ing as a sep­a­rate en­tity, thereby cre­at­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties for future growth, the lat­ter reg­u­lates un­reg­is­tered in­vest­ment ad­vi­sors. Fo­cus on growth ar­eas like the hith­erto ig­nored Tier II and Tier III cities should also help, as also the ris­ing pop­u­lar­ity and aware­ness of the wealth man­age­ment con­cept.

Away from work, Ta­paria loves to watch movies and is an avid sports­man, who plays squash reg­u­larly or oth­er­wise heads for the gym. He lives in New Delhi with his wife, Deepika—Deepika is a trained patis­serie and choco­latier, who has in­terned with some of the world's top choco­latiers and patissiers and is cur­rently a house­wife—and three­year-old son, Kaiser, who is pre­par­ing to go to school.

Anirudha Ta­paria with wife Deepika and son Kaiser

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