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Business News/ News / India/  Prashant Jain quits as HDFC MF’s CIO

Prashant Jain, the chief investment officer (CIO) of HDFC Mutual Fund, has quit, bringing to a close his 28-year stint as a fund manager at one of India’s top mutual fund houses.

As the CIO of HDFC Mutual Fund for 19 years, Jain spearheaded the management of assets worth more than 4 trillion as of June 30 across equity, debt and other schemes. One of India’s well-known equity fund managers, his views on equity markets have always been closely tracked by analysts and the investor community alike.

Known for his contrarian bets, not all of which worked always, Jain has spent more than three decades in the fund management industry. A believer in the ‘value style’ of investing, he began his career with SBI Caps in 1991. He later moved to 20th Century Mutual Fund, which was taken over by Zurich India Mutual Fund, only to be acquired by HDFC Mutual Fund in 2003.

Jain’s resignation was accepted by the board of HDFC Asset Management Co. Ltd (HDFC AMC) at a meeting held on Friday. At the same meeting, the board appointed Chirag Setalvad as head-equities, and Shobhit Mehrotra as head-fixed income. Setalvad has been with HDFC MF since its inception, except a couple of years, and Mehrotra has had 18 years of experience with the company.

Jain has been managing HDFC MF’s Balanced Advantage Fund (BAF) since its inception in February 1994. This is ranked among the oldest-running mutual fund schemes in India.

Following the mutual fund recategorization exercise by the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi), the erstwhile HDFC Prudence Fund was merged with HDFC Growth Fund and renamed HDFC BAF in 2018. With assets of more than 43,000 crore as of June-end, HDFC BAF is by far the largest fund in its category across the industry.

HDFC BAF, which began as pure equity fund with a fairly high and static equity allocation, changed tack in January 2021. Since then, the fund has been dynamically managed like a balanced advantage fund, juggling between equity and debt. Jain has also been at the helm of a few other prominent funds: HDFC Flexi Cap Fund and HDFC Top 100 Fund, the latter being a large cap fund, since June 2003. HDFC BAF, Flexi Cap Fund and Top 100 Fund have delivered returns of 17.7%, 18% and 18.5% (CAGR), respectively since their inception.

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Maulik Madhu
Maulik Madhu is a special correspondent at Mint. She started her career at the Competition Commission of India (CCI) and forayed into business journalism in 2012. Choosing to specialize in personal finance, she worked at FundsIndia and The Hindu Business Line, before joining Mint in March 2022.
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Updated: 22 Jul 2022, 09:32 PM IST
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