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The Smart Techie was renamed Siliconindia India Edition starting Feb 2012 to continue the nearly two decade track record of excellence of our US edition.

October - 2011 - issue > Company Spotlight

The New Age Wealth Management InvestAscent

ST Team
Thursday, October 6, 2011
ST Team
We are living in a whole new India now; where new college graduates are earning six and seven figure salaries, where people are looking for financial management that would help them retire at the age of 45, where wealth management is attaining a whole new dimension. Before the recent financial recession the young tech generation was earning more, spending more and saving less, but not anymore. The recession shook them hard and brought them back to the real world and now they are looking at all the options that they can possibly have to save for their future. If previously the concern of Indians were about their child’s education or marriage, now it is about what they can do to save enough to retire in their mid 40s. In this context, the good old savings schemes have gone either obsolete and or are about to get retired. What professionals need today is brand-new wealth advisors and managers who can feel the pulse of the new world. This is exactly what InvestAscent Wealth Advisors offers. The company was founded in 2009 by veterans who have several years of hands on experience in the areas of wealth advisory, private banking, treasury management, risk management, private equity, stock markets and succession planning. Anuja Agrawal, M V Ranade, Subramanyam S (the founder of Ascent) and Shailesh Mehta saw how the Indian saving habit was changing, and they quickly realized the relevance of new age wealth advisors in the space. They had the expertise to offer advises and create wealth management plans that make sense to the young population of the country and thus the company was born.

The company essentially caters to four types of customers; Individuals / Employees, Corporates, Non Resident Indians (NRIs), and Welfare Trusts. All these customer categories have different needs and have different goals. An individual or employee might be interested in wealth management, loans, tax planning and more, on the other hand a Corporate will be looking for retention plans for their employees, NRIs have a different need, and so does Trusts. With the expertise of Ascent in HR and Management and InvestAscent’s expertise in Wealth Management, the company can offer a complete package for Corporate as well as Individuals. Employees of MNCs and other corporate giants are now very particular about their investments and they want to explore all the options in the market and they want to get this done in a nick of time. This is where most banks and brokerage firms fail with their approach. Banks, typically through their wealth management vertical push products with a 1-3 year horizon, without taking into consideration the overall financial planning model. And then again, a person who deals in mutual funds might not deal with insurance or tax planning, as a result of which the investors have to deal with multiple people before they decide where to invest. As a result many relevant options fail to turn up. InvestAscent has a specialist investment team backing their customers.

The company acts as a one stop shop that gives the customers a bigger spectrum of products than what banks and the brokerage firms offer; helping them make an informed decision. “When we say a complete spectrum, it means all the products that are available in the market, starting from Post Office, Fixed deposits to PE funding to New Pension System (NPS). Once they have the knowledge of all that is available, they can choose what suits them best,” says M V Ranade, Managing Director & Co-Founder, InvestAscent. With the expertise of Ascent in HR and Management and InvestAscent’s expertise in Wealth Management, the company can offer a complete package for corporate as well as individuals. It is not just the employees who are interested in wealth advisors; their employers are also equally excited. For companies it is not just about their wealth management, it is also about the wealth management of their employees. We are living in a world where the companies are being shaken by employee attrition. Giving better salaries might just not be enough to retain the employees and the companies that have grown are aware of this. “You pay your employees a good salary and perks, but if they do not know how to manage their wealth well, then there is no point. They will spend all their money and will be in financial crisis and look for a better paid job. This is a realization that has dawned on companies who look forward to help the employees in time,” says Anuja Agrawal, Executive Director and Co-founder of InvestAscent. To help these corporate clients the company has designed a service named Employee Care.

In India, 98 percent of people who invest, do so to save tax. According to Anuja, tax saving is not the beginning and end of investment; it is only a part of it. InvestAscent helps their clients make investments that will help them to reach their life goal and they do this while saving tax. To get this done the company spends time with each individual client to understand their goal and why they are looking to gain from the investment. The company takes the same approach with the corporates that approach them as well. It tries to understand the reason or motivation behind the investment, the time frame, the surplus money, and the goal they are trying to reach with the particular investment. Having an understanding in all these helps the company to plan its client investments to perfection. The enormous growth the company has had in the last two year does not come without challenges. The company is not an infrastructure oriented company it is a manpower oriented company and the biggest challenge it has faced so far is to find the right quality of manpower. Another challenge that the company is facing now is with regards to their expansion. “We are expanding our presence to four cities now, including Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Bangalore. It is imperative to manage our service standards across the country. This is a challenge that we are facing now, and we are working on it lately,” explains Anuja.

Apart from this the company is also in the process of building technology platform. The banks and brokerage firms are all offering different platforms for their clients but they all lack in the product spectrum. What InvestAscent is trying to achieve in this scenario is to offer its clients a complete spectrum of products and a world class technology platform named Money Berry that will help clients to manage both wealth and tax together. This has helped the company give its clients the option to go paperless with their investments, as all process can be managed online. Normally a person might have investment through several brokerages and banks and to make an investment portfolio, they will use a third-party portal like the moneycontrol.com. InvestAscent’s portal allows its clients to view its portfolios and add to their other portfolios automatically.


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