Sundaram AMC’s equity head resigns

The fund house is in search of a successor to Satish Ramanathan, two persons said
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First Published: Thu, Dec 06 2012. 11 17 PM IST
Satish Ramanathan. 
Queries sent to the corporate communications division at Sundaram Asset Management on the subject didn’t elicit a response.
Satish Ramanathan. Queries sent to the corporate communications division at Sundaram Asset Management on the subject didn’t elicit a response.
Mumbai: Sundaram Asset Management Co. (AMC) Ltd’s head of equities Satish Ramanathan has resigned, two persons close to the development said on Thursday.
The fund house, India’s 13th largest by assets under management, is in search of a successor to Ramanathan, the two persons said.
Queries sent to the corporate communications division at Sundaram Asset Management on the subject didn’t elicit a response.
The company is expected to make an announcement within a day or two, the persons said.
Launched in 1997, the 15-year-old fund house was a performance leader at one time. Its flagship Sundaram Select Mid-cap Fund was one of the best-performing mid-cap schemes and finished in the top 10 between 2003 and 2007. In the past three years, however, its equity schemes haven’t done as well.
Of the five diversified equity funds it has, according to Value Research, a mutual fund tracker (thematic and sector funds have been omitted), three underperformed their respective category averages in 2010 and 2011.
The fund house’s new managing director, Harsha Viji, who took over the reins in July, “means business”, according to a market expert.
This market expert said that Viji’s focus on performance initiated the change in the fund management.
“Viji has been making subtle, but far-reaching changes in the fund house ever since he joined because performance is paramount to him,” said a person at the fund house on condition of anonymity.
Harsha Viji is the great-grandson of T.V. Sundaram Iyengar, the founder of the TVS Group (Sundaram AMC is a part of the TVS Group).
Viji’s father, Santhanam Viji, is chairman of Sundaram Finance Ltd, the AMC’s sponsor and one of TVS Group’s several companies.
In addition to the five equity diversified funds, Sundaram AMC also has a few thematic and sectoral funds that focus on sectors such as energy, financial services, rural consumption and capital goods companies.
Some of these funds have also been hit hard, as have most in many of these sectors, especially those related to the infrastructure sector, on account of the slowdown in the economy.
The fund executive cited earlier said Viji may initiate a merger in some of its equity schemes. Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) has been subtly nudging the Rs.7.68 crore Indian mutual funds (MF) industry to consolidate some schemes and bring down the total number of offerings from
each fund house to a more manageable level.
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First Published: Thu, Dec 06 2012. 11 17 PM IST
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