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MUMBAI : Handling the wealth of high net worth individuals (HNIs) is among the most in-demand skills currently amid a surge in the tally of rich Indians.

Wealth management firms are poaching private bankers, hoteliers, and senior employees from yacht firms, among others who are used to working with HNIs. The requirement is to act as relationship managers to rich people, including many in tier 2 and 3 cities in the country. Growing demand for female relationship managers is also pushing such wealth management firms to accelerate their hiring plans.

“We have 1,200 relationship managers and plan to hire 400-500 every year for the next five years. The growing number of HNIs now want relationship managers to work on hybrid mode where they want both access and investment details through personal connect and digital medium," said Rahul Jain, president and head, Nuvama Wealth.

He said the firm is targeting client facing teams at banks, and the fresh hires are trained over the years to deal with ultra-HNIs.

The need for relationship managers comes on the back of a spurt in HNIs and ultra-HNIs in smaller towns and cities in the past year.

According to Capgemini’s World Wealth Report 2022, the top Asia Pacific contributors to ultra-HNWI population and wealth were India and Taiwan in 2021. A relationship manager starts from the entry level and over time looks into the investments and wealth of the ultra-HNIs.

“In India, HNWI population and wealth grew by 10.5% and 11.6%, respectively, (in 2021)," the report stated.

The demand-supply gap is further accentuated as HNIs in smaller towns are now looking for professionals based in those locations. This is pushing companies such as 360 ONE (formerly known as IIFL Wealth & Asset Management) to expand their presence to more cities. Those with net worth of 100 crore and more can be classified as ultra-HNIs and those with investable surplus of 5 crore and above can be classified as HNIs.

“The ultra-high net worth (UHNI) clients that we want to cater to today are not just restricted to the top cities. We see 40-50 locations in the country, where we can have a presence. So, we need to also hire people who have a good understanding of their local markets," said Anshuman Maheshwary, chief operating officer, 360 ONE. He highlighted that female RMs comprised 41% of the firm’s new hires so far this financial year.

Maheshwary estimated that if the Indian economy expands at 6-7% annually, the wealth of HNIs and UHNIs can grow at 12-13%.

RMs tend to be hired through consultants, directly from competitors, while the senior RMs are identified by their rivals and headhunted. The salaries can start in the range of 7-10 lakh per annum, reaching up to a crore, along with bonus and incentives. Some of the RMs almost work like entrepreneurs, running books of 10,000 crore- 20,000 crore.

A high stock option attracts RMs and wealth managers to Centrum Wealth, which has a workforce of about 300, said Deepa Poncha, director and head-HR, Centrum Group. “33% of stake of companies is owned by employees. Top RMs make 100% of their incentives. They are a scarce commodity and they know they are a scarce commodity. They are chased in the market and are sought after," Poncha said.

He said that anticipating a sharp growth in the industry, Centrum hired over 10 senior professionals in the last two months to boost its client outreach.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Devina Sengupta
Devina Sengupta reports on the shifts in India Inc’s workplaces, HR policies and writes about the developments at India’s biggest conglomerates. Her stories over the last decade have been picked up and followed by Indian and international news outlets. She joined Mint in 2022 and previously worked with The Economic Times and DNA-Money.
Catch all the Corporate news and Updates on Live Mint. Download The Mint News App to get Daily Market Updates & Live Business News.
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Updated: 19 Feb 2023, 11:22 PM IST
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