Ulpesh Raj, President of Vadodara IFA Association says that his
group is striving to increase the penetration of mutual funds despite the
headwinds faced by IFAs. In three years of its existence, the group has become
a centre point for all IFAs in Vadodara.
When was the group formed? What prompted you to
start this group?
association was formed in June 2008. Initially, it was floated with group of 20
IFAs from Vadodara. In 2008, many changes were introduced by the regulator. We
felt that the decisions were taken by the regulator without considering the
impact on IFAs. Since we could not air our concerns in an individual capacity, we
felt that we should unite as a group & represent IFA interests collectively
as a strong entity.
What is the objective of your group?
is to unite all IFAs in Vadodara & central Gujarat region. We arrange
regular educational seminar for members. The group also helps members to resolve
their business and service issues with AMCs.
How many members your group has?
group has 71 members who account for 75 percent of the assets managed by IFAs in
Is there any membership fee to join your
take Rs 1000 annually from committee members and Rs 500 from general members.
What activities does your group undertake? How
group members meet once in a month to discuss the progress of our activities and
chart out plans. We conduct quarterly meetings for all members in which we focus
on product knowledge, skill development & the changing business dynamics. Our
aim is to make our members more professional in their approach.
get-togethers with IFAs’ families. We play cricket every weekend with our group
members and AMC officials.
What kind of activities has the group
undertaken so far? Highlight any events or activities that you are very proud
had organized an investor gathering in Vadadora in October 2008 in which AMC
representatives were also invited. This event was conducted independently
without any help from AMCs.
organized many educational seminars in the last three years.
Do you interact with AMFI/SEBI regarding the
issues in the mutual fund industry?
interact with them through emails but don’t get any encouraging response.
Are there any plans to form a national level
of IFA Association?
are in talks with other association in Gujarat & Mumbai. We are also eager
to join a national level of IFA association.
What kind of support do you get from fund
are getting very positive support from AMCs. We are getting financial support
from various AMCs. Fund houses allow us to use their conference room for our
educational meets. They also send expert trainers who guide us. Besides, all the service issues are quickly
resolved by AMCs.
What are your future plans for the group?
group will educate more and more IFAs as well as people. We will strive to
increase the penetration of mutual funds despite the hurdles coming our way. Our
ultimate aim is to develop a powerful association of quality IFA professionals
by empowering them with appropriate skills and knowledge so that they are
capable of selling any complex financial products by adhering to ethics and
transparency. We are planning to start monthly bulletin which will cover
industry & market news. We want to register all IFAs in our region as our
group members by the end of this financial year.