Validus Wealth plans to grow AUM five times in next 3 years

Validus Wealth, a private wealth management firm launched by the key management team of DSP Merrill Lynch led by Atul Singh after its merger with the Swiss private banking major Julius Baer, is eyeing to grow the assets under its custody at least five times over the next three years.

The company has crossed the USD 1-billion mark in three years of operations.

The three-year-old company manages funds of a little over USD 1 billion (around Rs 7,550 crore) from around 1,500 rich families across its 11 offices now which include cities such as Chandigarh, Salem, Goa and other major metros.

Crossing the first USD 1 billion was a challenge but we have done that within the three years of launching the business in November 2018.

In fact, 70 per cent of these assets came to our custody in the past 12-18 months as we had closed March 2020 with Rs 2,500 crore which doubled to Rs 5,000 crore in March 2021 and since then topping Rs 7,500 crore mark as of last month, Atul Singh, the founder & chief executive of Validus Wealth told PTI on Wednesday.

He attributed the spike in AUM to the higher risk appetite of the rich since the pandemic hit the world.

“Going forward we have an internal target of growing to be amongst the top private wealth managers in the country with at least Rs 40,000 crore of assets under our custody over the three five years, which will be an over five-fold jump from where we are now,” Singh said.

But he was quick to add that it does not mean overtaking the entrenched players like IIFL Wealth, Edelweiss Wealth and Kotak Wealth, which respectively are the top three players in the USD500-billion strong professional wealth advisory industry in the country.

As much as 60 per cent of the funds are parked in equities and the rest in debt, Singh said.

It can be recalled that in 2012, Bank of America had agreed to sell its overseas wealth management operations to the Zurich-headquartered Julius Baer and the sale and merger of its India business along with 150 employees and USD 6.5 billion AUM in March 2015.

Atul Singh was heading the private banking vertical of the Wall Street major at that time and after the merger sale to he also headed Julius Baer India till 2017 when he decided to launch Validus.

Validus was earlier known as WGC Wealth when it was promoted by Wadhawan Global Capital, which was also the promoter of troubled Dewan Housing Finance Corp. Validus was later bought out by its employees, resulting in its new avatar.

Singh said the company has reached operating breakeven in June this year, which will lower its capital requirement now.

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