Julius Baer, the largest foreign wealth manager in India, has raised over $167 million for its maiden proprietary India equity focused fund on its offshore platform, Rahul Malhotra, Managing Director, Head Private Banking, Global India & Developed Markets has said.

The amount was raised for this-open ended fund during a seed period from September 7 to September 21, Malhotra told businessline. The fund drew in participation from investors across markets, including Hong Kong, Singapore, and Dubai. It also saw participation from Julius Baer clients in Switzerland, London, Europe and Latin America, Malhotra added.

Participation also came from outside of Julius Baer’s non-resident Indian clients, including its North Asia and South Asian clients (excluding Indian residents), Malhotra said.

As much as 70 per cent of the funds raised has been put into action, Malhotra said. This fund is broadly a large and mid-cap oriented strategy.

The fund represents an equity portfolio of 20–30 securities of companies selected based on their potential to double their profit after tax over a 5-year period, their strong management, attractive business fundamentals and ability to generate stable cash flows. 

Currently, Julius Baer’s assets under management in India stands at over $21 billion. Julius Baer had recently elevated Malhotra to the Swiss Wealth Management Group’s newly restructured Executive Board. He is set to assume this expanded role at the start of 2024.

businesline had in early August this year reported that Julius Baer was planning to launch in September its first ever proprietary India equity focused fund on its offshore platform.

 FPIs keen to invest

On specific focus on India, Malhotra said Indian equities have been a significantly better investment than the equity index of any other country in the region. “India has delivered compound annual returns of 9 per cent in dollar terms, just behind 10 per cent for the S&P 500, but outperforming Korea, Taiwan, Indonesia, Singapore, Japan, and China”, Malhotra said.

Julius Baer is optimistic about the country’s financials, information technology, manufacturing, and consumption sectors, he added.

The investment advisory team for the Julius Baer Equity India Fund is based in Mumbai providing non-binding investment advice while the fund management and portfolio implementation is performed by the investment management team in JB Singapore.

Overweight on India

Asked if Julius Baer intends to follow this India equity focused fund with more similar offerings out of its offshore platform, Malhotra said, “Julius Baer is overweight India. This fund is the first in hopefully a long run of successful India-product initiatives”.

Julius Baer plans to launch an India-focused equity fund out of its offshore platform was part of an overall business strategy chalked out two years back. 

India ambition

Julius Baer aims to be the most dominant wealth manager on the ground in India by 2026. This private bank is already among the top five in India in wealth management space including the local competitors.

Malhotra had recently said that Julius Baer, which is currently present in seven cities in India, will expand significantly beyond ten cities in the next three years. The seven cities are Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Kolkata and Pune.