GIFTING IS BACK IN MUTUAL FUNDS
We hear that a new-age mutual fund house has lured distributors with expensive gifts. Distributors who got around Rs 4 crore worth of inflows stood a chance to win two tickets (for a couple) to Paris. Inflows worth Rs 3 crore came with a reward of 2 tickets to Ukraine though with the threat of a Russian invasion imminent, we wonder if this was a reward or punishment. Nevertheless, inflows between Rs 25 lakh and Rs 2 crore came with rewards ranging from Samsung mobile phones, Apple iPad minis to the iPhone 13. This is the interesting chatter we picked up folks. Such lavish contests were until recently a thing of the past in the Rs 37 trillion Indian mutual funds industry. In 2018, inundated with numerous complaints from both within the mutual funds industry on account of unhealthy competition and asset gathering and investors who complained of mis-selling by distributors, the capital market regulator, the Securities and Exchange Board of India, had ruled that mutual funds must pay all commissions through trail commission. Trail commission is a method of distributing commission throughout the time the investor remains with the fund. Upfront commission, on the other hand, means that the fund pays distributor at the time the investor invests. The entire account of fund expenses is also disclosed in an investor’s common account statement. Hence, the alleged gifting policy of this particular MF player remains a mystery!
WAR FOR TAPPING TOP TALENT
More buzz on what picked up from mutual funds. A raft of changes are taking place at this mutual fund company that has witnessed back to back exits recently. A head of trading has quit and so has a fund manager. Now the hunt is on for a PMS head, we hear. The past few months have seen a lot of churn of key executives, especially in the advisory world. Law firms, investment banks, Big-4 firms … the war for tapping the best of talent is definitely on!
HOW YOU KEEP YOUR STAFF HAPPY
During this Sankranthi, the personal staff of a politician was in for a pleasant surprise. In a magnanimous act, the politician, the daughter of a former chief minister in the south, gifted 15 of them with brand new Scorpio jeeps. Those who got this expensive gift include her personal assistants, caretakers etc. This “heiress” who loves a good life had requested the beneficiaries of her generosity not to publicise it. Now some of her friends are hoping that she will also gift them with something more expensive. One such friend enquired with one of her assistants. He jokingly replied “Sir, Range Rovers have been ordered for people like you.”
MYSTERY NSE YOGI
So who exactly is the mysterious Yogi from the Himalayas who advised and influenced former NSE boss Chitra Ramkrishna? That’s the question on everyone’s lips. This bizarre finding which has shocked the street and India Inc finds place in the recent Sebi order passed against the exchange and Chitra Ramkrishna in the matter of governance lapses while appointing Anand Subramanian as its chief operating officer (COO) and advisor to Ramkrishna. According to the order , a forensic probe said this unknown spiritual entity was Subramanian himself and NSE also concurred. But the market regulator isn’t convinced and said in the order that there is no conclusive evidence to prove the same. “I note that the E&Y report, at best, reveals that the unknown person was also well known and in close proximity to Noticee no. 6 (Subramanian) but does not give a conclusive finding that Noticee no. 6 was in fact the unknown person who used the email id ‘email@example.com’,” Sebi whole time member Ananta Barua said in the order. So, then if not Subramanian, then who? Is it a bigger fish? A bureaucrat? A politican? The jury is out on this one, folks!
YES MAN AT THE TOP
Another prominent company saw a change at the top a few days ago with a high-profile outsider giving way to a loyal insider handpicked by the founder. The grapevine is that there was candidate from another prominent firm who was chosen but bailed at the last minute. “The new CEO doesn’t even have coffee without the founder’s permission”, a person in the know quipped. Guess all’s well that ends well.
DAMAGE CONTROL MODE
Lawyers are not the only people this troubled company and its founder are hiring. As it’s daggers drawn between the two, with a skeleton tumbling every day on everything from governance to culture to people movements, we have learnt that the company has hired a global reputation management firm. The founder and his wife too have hired a couple of agencies to see them through the rough road ahead. Let’s see if these actions will help improve the perception.
While we are on the subject of exits, we also hear that a senior executive at a US-based private equity firm that focuses on the consumer and healthcare segments has put in his papers in a bid to turn entrepreneurial. The gentleman will start his own investment firm which will dabble in his pet sectors. We wish him all the best for the new innings.
The chairman of this financial services firm, currently in news for all the wrong reasons, is an unhappy man these days. The reason for his unhappiness stems from the fact that there has been a spate of critical news about the firm in recent days. The chairman, a well known personality in the corporate world, is upset with the negative coverage and even communicated this displeasure to some of his ‘friends’ in the media last week. What to do? As they say, it isn’t easy to stop the press!
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