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L&T Finance to offer wealth management, hires EFG brass

Malvika Joshi/Mumbai 08 Feb 12 | 12:50 AM
Related to : Larsen & Toubro Ltd
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L&T Finance is actively looking to enhance its product line and is looking to foray into a business that many foreign players are struggling to sustain --wealth management.

According to sources with direct knowledge of the development, much of the top management of EFG International Group, India — chief executive officer Manoj Shenoy and some other senior officials —would be shortly joining L&T Finance, a subsidiary of L&T Finance Holdings.

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EFG International is a global private banking and asset management arm of EFG Bank European Financial Group SA, headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland. The firm provides wealth management services to high net worth clients in India and has operations in four cities — Bangalore, Hyderabad, Mumbai and Nashik. The sources said EFG Group has a team of 15 people in India.

"The top management of EFG in India has joined L&T Finance. It is likely to start the wealth management business on its own," said the source. L&T Finance is looking to enter different product lines at this point of time, the source added.

EFG International forayed into India in 2007 by acquiring 75 per cent in Stratcap Securities and manages around $500 million (Rs 2,430 crore) in the country.

A mail sent to L&T Finance was unanswered. However, on being asked if L&T Finance would expand its product line and was looking at inorganic growth, N Sivaraman, president and wholetime director of L&T Finance Holdings, said: “We are looking to add some new products to the existing product line to sustain business growth. We will be looking at acquisitions only to add product lines which we do not have at the moment. If new product lines are available, then we will explore the option of acquisition."

Adding: “For starting a new product in the market, we would need an organisation and so will be continuously exploring the opportunity."

L&T Finance has a large presence in rural areas and wants to actively tap the urban market. "We will look to add new products to service our existing clients, as well as tap a different client segment," Sivaraman said.

Currently, several foreign banks are struggling to keep afloat their wealth management business in India. Some have sold their wealth management business here and a few bigger ones like Credit Suisse have cut jobs in the wealth management space on account of poor market conditions.

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