A baby in financial services set to be born

Two former executives from Goldman Sachs and Macquarie have joined hands with an ace fund manager and two others to float a company that would deal in a combination of new age advisory, home loans and fund management businesses.

Nitin Jain, former wealth management CEO at PAG-Edelweiss Financial Services, formed the partnership venture with four others: Varun Bajpai, former country head of Macquarie India; Punit Jain, ex-executive director at Goldman Sachs; Hemant Daga, erstwhile CEO of Edelweiss Asset Management; and A Srikanth, former CEO of Motilal Oswal Wealth.

This may be the first after a three year gap that top executives from financial services are taking a plunge into entrepreneurship after former Deutsche Bank executives like Bhupinder Singh of and Gunit Chadha who floated non-banking finance companies including InCred and APAC Financial.

The business will have three verticals, all coming under a holding company called NIVA Investment. The company has raised $40 million of funding from partners and private investors. It is now administering assets of more than $1 billion.

India is at an inflexion point in terms of growth for the next decade, particularly in financial services, said Nitin Jain. “This is absolutely the right time for us to launch this venture,” he said. “Technology will definitely be one of the key enablers and differentiators in our business.”

Varun Bajpai joined as managing director and chief executive of Neo World, a digital personal finance platform for individuals under NIVA Investment. It aims to help clients build better financial habits, about savings and investments. Individuals with annual income up to Rs 12-13 lakh can go for their retirement planning or any other financial goal. The app will be primarily driven by artificial intelligence with fund managers setting parameters.

Hemant Daga will become head of Neo Asset Management, which will primarily help investors beat inflation through fixed-income instruments, private credit and real assets. Puneet Jain will act as the chief investment officer of the asset management company, which is billed as an alternative to wild swings of the equity market.

This would be a new age asset management and personal finance platform, which will focus on digital advisory including retirement planning and delivering fixed-income solutions. It will also, through its ‘LEAF’ arm, will help banks reach under-penetrated tier-2 and -3 cities to deliver home loans to the affordable segment.

Srikanth will head Neo Multi Family Office business, which will advise wealthy families in managing their assets. It is also likely to be involved in corporate advisory.

Nitin Jain will drive a business which deals in “credit to capital market”. This will create a bundle of mortgage assets only to sell the pool to larger banks or financial institutions, which get ready-made assets to meet their regulatory obligations. This is more of transacting in securitised assets that is gaining demand among large institutions.

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