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33 executives of ICICI Securities quit to join WGC Wealth

Economic Times, 21, 2018, Reghu Balakrishnan

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In one of the largest exoduses in the wealth management space in India, about 33 top line executives from ICICI Securities Private Wealth Management have quit to join WGC Wealth, an arm of financial services group Wadhawan Global Capital.

WGC, which owns 38% in Dewan Housing Finance, entered the wealth management space in August by hiring Atul Singh, former CEO of Julius Baer Wealth Advisors India as its CEO. WGC manages around $20 billion worth of assets though its lending, investment and insurance platforms.

Among the new team, Maneesh Kapoor, senior regional head at ICICI Securities Private Wealth, has been hired as executive director for the north and east markets, while the south market will be served by Sailesh Balachandran — south regional head at ICICI Securities Private Wealth as executive director.

About 26 executives who joined from ICICI Securities Private Wealth are front-end relationship managers.

Earlier, WGC Wealth had hired senior executives from Julius Baer, IDFC Bank and Kotak Mahindra Bank NSE 0.28 % to form a 70-member team in India. With the new recruitments, WGC Wealth now has a 100-member team."We have a strong team with many high quality senior investment professionals on board. We plan to expand the team to 150 people by the end of this financial year," said Singh, CEO, WGC Wealth.

Prior to WGC Wealth, Singh had worked with Julius Baer where he had set up the wealth management business for India. He was also associated with Booz Allen Hamilton and Merrill Lynch. Majority of the HNIs are shifting their investment focus from typical real estate, fixed deposits and gold to diversified financial products which is reflected in the heightened activities in wealth management space," Singh said. According to him, over $400 billion of new savings are coming to India every year. An ICICI Securities spokesperson declined to comment on the developments.

Wealth managers in India are addressing a market with $1.5 trillion of investible wealth, which is expected to cross $3 trillion of personal investible wealth by 2022. As the wealth management market has seen more action, senior level exits are quite common in India these days.

"For new entrants as well as established players, team movement is an efficient and quick way to build business," said Anshul Lodha, director at Michael Page India.

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