After the acquisition of Deutsche, DHFL Pramerica is now the 15th largest fund house by assets. What plans does your AMC have to build on the strengths of the combined entity?
This is the largest acquisition in the mutual fund industry. Prior to this, DHFL Pramerica managed around Rs.2000 crore of assets and after this merger, acquired about Rs. 20,000 crore of assets which was previously managed by Deutsche AMC. Interestingly, a relatively smaller AMC (DHFL Pramerica) acquired a larger firm (Deutsche).
Both the DHFL group and the Prudential Financial of USA are very retail focussed. Prudential, at heart, is a life insurance company and AMC which has been doing business for over 140 years now and enjoys a strong connect with customers. Similarly, DHFL is a 35-year-old brand and has a very large retail base with a focus on low middle income groups. So the DNAs of both these organisations are common and we believe that we can significantly build our retail pie.
The team that has joined us from Deutsche AMC has immense experience in the mutual funds sector. Because of this merger, we now have a strong team of 19 people that focusses on investment management of which Nine are fund managers.
After merging with Deutsche AMC, how will you leverage the combined distribution strength?
From the time we announced this acquisition to the time it went through, we engaged actively with our clients and distributors. It is very gratifying that almost all the investors of Deutsche AMC chose to stay with us post acquisition.
We now have relations with almost all banks, NDs and IFAs. At the same time, we are engaging with the vast network of IFAs who are looking at this new association very positively.
What are your key initiatives for the distributors?
We follow two ways of conducting IFA training programs. So whenever we travel to various cities, we engage with distribution partners. In this activity, our fund managers meet distributors on one-to-one basis. Also, we organize a seminar to update IFAs about our products and market viws
We have also started a new initiative called ‘Visit to Kitchen’ where we invite IFAs to our office in Mumbai for a one-day program. In this program, they meet the CEO, CIOs and senior management team to understand the vision and the investment philosophy of the company. So far, we have had IFAs participating from all the Top 10 cities.
Our focus is on building stronger relationships with the distributors.
Another initiative that we have started for our partners is to conduct session on Wealth Transmission. Majority of our partners have done well by propagating Wealth Creation and Wealth Preservation to clients. We believe its time that partners also initiate discussion with clients on Wealth Transmission. For this, we have developed a one day program with Experts from the Industry. We have already done 4 such sessions, one each in Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata and Nagpur. The response from distributors is heartening.
How have you rationalized the product line up?
We don’t have a plethora of funds. We, however, do have a good basket of basic products-equity, debt and hybrid. Our focus is on managing these funds well. I don’t think we need to have too many innovative products just for the sake of it. We need to offer customers the solutions they need. The focus is going to be on serving the client through well-categorized products.
We make sure that we stick to the mandate of each fund, for instance, we don’t want to have a large cap fund which has substantial exposure to small cap stocks. Eventually, investors look for good, consistent investment performance.
Before the integration, we had around 34 schemes which we have consolidated to 22 schemes now.
Some AMCs have launched transaction apps for their distributors. What are your plans on the digital side?
We do not plan to launch specific transaction apps as our online platform (website) has been developed for seamless transactions. We have enabled our website for new and existing customers to invest in our funds. Also, we have a mobile app which helps existing investors to invest in our funds.
What are your plans on Investor Awareness?
As part of the investor education initiative, we have started an internet campaign using short videos which explains why investing regularly is a healthy habit.
We are also distributing the message through outdoor media and a booklet series which is available on our website. Further, we have started conducting investor education camps in various cities to promote financial literacy in the country.