The Credit Suisse Group AG crisis is likely to make a dent on the way well-off Indians view international wealth managers, a firm backed by Liechtenstein’s royal family said Tuesday. Rajesh Cheruvu, chief investment officer and managing director at LGT Wealth India Private Ltd., said in the past 15 years or so, many multinational financial institutions have come and exited Indian markets and the latest incident was making wealthy investors nervous.
“This particular event once again reminds and recalls the past uncertainty in terms of their business strategies,” Cheruvu told Bloomberg Television. “Investors primarily want stability of business operations of their wealth managers and wealth advisors.”
This year, Citigroup Inc. exited its retail operations in India through a sale to Axis Bank, transferring all its wealth management business to the country’s third-largest private sector lender. In addition, in the past decade, Credit Suisse’s new buyer — UBS AG, Morgan Stanley and Macquarie Group Ltd. have exited the country’s private-wealth business, after finding it difficult to make money from the value-conscious millionaires who were not used to pay for their advice.
Nevertheless, the volume of wealth creation as India grows and changing attitudes towards professional fund management have enticed some money managers back as they seek to capture a slice of the country’s $600 billion wealth industry that is growing at double digits annually. HSBC Holdings Plc, plans to launch an onshore private banking service in India to tap its wealthy while Julius Baer Group Ltd. aims to expand to more locations in the next five years.
“Structurally India is offering a great growth opportunity for the next three, five, seven years. So we are actually suggesting to investors to use this ongoing nervousness in the market place and volatility to their benefit to construct a portfolio for the longer term,” Cheruvu said.