Mumbai/New Delhi: Mint spoke to Venkat Ramaswamy, executive director and co-head, Edelweiss Global Asset Management Ltd, on the Ambit Alpha Fund acquisition. Edited excerpts of the interview:
What is the rationale behind the transaction?
The rationale is we are constantly looking for products and capabilities that are complementary to our existing platforms. In this case, we have added a product. That means we have bought a fund. We have the capability to manage a fund of this kind. So, we went ahead and had a conversation with Ashok (Wadhwa) at Ambit and the transaction was done. We are not acquiring an existing GP (general partner, or the investment manager of the fund). Nor are we taking the team in this case.
What appealed you about Ambit Alpha Fund?
I think Ambit has a good track record and we hope to be able to improve on it. Ambit Alpha has a good client base who have been investors in the fund for the past few years, and that was something that we liked. Most importantly, we were confident of servicing the needs of these clients. We have no intention of merging this fund with Edelweiss’s existing funds either. It will continue to be managed with same strategy, separately, as before.
Who will become the new manager of the fund?
We have different groups of asset management businesses and we have a group called multi-strategy fund. This product will be managed by that group.
Are there more acquisitions that you are eyeing?
Edelweiss is open to acquisitions. But it has never followed an active strategy of growth by acquisitions. So, all our businesses have grown organically around a certain strategy of growth for a particular vertical. And if an acquisition happens to be complementary to that business, it is something that we do.
What can Edelweiss bring to the table for the existing clientele of Ambit Alpha?
As a platform, we are looking at building value for clients. And the Edelweiss liquid management platform has a variety of products which could serve different needs of a customer instead of a customer going to multiple platforms to service each of those needs. So, that is definitely an advantage that the platform brings.
What are your expectations from the asset management business?
It is definitely one of our fast growing businesses at Edelweiss. Our current assets under management are around Rs35,000 crore, and all of this and the JP Morgan acquisition will add to that number. Business continues to grow at a reasonably good pace.