2018 Winners – Distinction
BEST PRIVATE BANK – INDIA DOMESTIC
KOTAK WEALTH MANAGEMENT
In 2018, Kotak Wealth Management particularly stood out for the traction its advisory service achieved in a still transaction-heavy market. This point alone should not be downplayed. Given SEBI’s tabled proposal to segregate distribution and advisory services, there is now an overwhelming sense in India that advisory is here to stay. And it is telling that Kotak Wealth Management has taken the brave step to pivot towards an advisory-led model that both structurally incentivises client-banker alignment and insulates the business from sharp downturns in client activity.
Worth noting, too, is the fact that Kotak’s clients are signing up for advisory mandates — a fact that both points to their rapid maturation as investors and, fundamentally, the trust they put in the bank’s capabilities to deliver asset allocation and investment advice predicated on their unique profile and objectives.
Indeed, Kotak dispels the notion that large organisations adopt a cookie-cutter approach when it comes to servicing. Even with assets under advice in excess of INR 2,25,000 crores and some 2,800 family clients, Kotak Wealth Management places inordinate importance on customising solutions according to a client’s profile, objectives, and asset class exposure.
Kotak has been a major beneficiary of the pronounced uptick in domestic liquidity events as families exit businesses and seek out professional wealth management advice and solutions. For the upper end of the wealth spectrum, the bank’s family offices solutions suite is one of the industry’s most replete, spanning wealth advisory, professional services in collaboration with external partners, financing, and family needs. To be sure, Kotak has a demonstrable track record in providing customised solutions to families facing succession-related issues and guidance around philanthropic endeavours and responsible investments.
The bank’s commitment to hiring and nurturing wealth management talent is also noteworthy, both for its ability to attract top staff — Kotak’s RM headcount grew 9% in 2018 — and to retain key staff by setting clear expectations, conducting periodic reviews, and providing mobility opportunities within the organisation.
The strength of Kotak Wealth Management’s offering in 2018 ultimately translated into a strong set of financials. Revenue surged by 37% YoY against a low cost-income ratio, as did client assets, which grew 28%.
Kotak Wealth Management is Asian Private Banker’s Best Private Bank – India Domestic for 2018.