The Silicon Review
The financial services industry is more than just banks where people park their savings to be used when needed. Financial services include wealth management, creating a pension fund, investments, wealth build, purchase of stocks, mutual funds, hedge funds and so on. While venturing into such markets can be extremely daunting for the common man, it is a usual day at the office for providers of financial services. Monitoring markets in a country and abroad and managing their clients’ money is a massive responsibility since people decide to pour in their entire savings into a financial instrument and corporations may decide to do so with a large portion of their profits.
Wilson Financial Services (WFS) is a Mauritius based financial services provider that among other things, specializes in easing the passage for foreign investors to make their financial journey into India. The Indian markets are tightly regulated and several protectionist policies of the government make it very difficult for foreign companies to navigate the tricky and meandering corridors of the financial services sector in India. The founders of WFS envisioned a way to open India up to foreign investments, creating jobs and helping the economy in the process.
Bespoke Financial Services
The term financial services encompass a diverse range of services that money managers can provide for their clients. However, each country has its own set of regulations to govern the markets and India is no different. What works in most countries may not be all that effective in India. In order to circumvent this obstacle, the founders of Wilson Financial Services had to come up with their own set of tailor-made services to suit a diverse clientele, keeping in mind all the different needs and laws in India. The last couple of decades have drawn significant global attraction to India, both as a preferred destination for technological expansions and investments in various sectors. With a population of over 1.3 billion people, the south Asian country presents exciting opportunities for multinational corporations to invest in India.
Capitalizing on this situation, Wilson Financial Services bagged their first client for their very own Global Fund and Investment Manager entity domiciled in Mauritius. As with any startup, the initial year was a struggle, as WFS had to go up against established players in the industry and needed to cultivate a reputation for itself. After taking on their first client, the team at WFS had to interact with multiple intermediaries across two countries to get the investment through, with strict constraints on time. This was the company’s first taste of success and which ended up being exhausting as well as exhilarating for WFS.
Trust as a Key Component
Any business in any sector needs to have an established image of it as being reliable and trustworthy, and this is probably the most important factor in the world of finance where customers entrust large sums of money into the hands of fund managers. Clients acquainted with the financial sector would know what to expect, however, for those who are not aware, blindly trusting someone with their money does not come easily.
Another major factor in India is perception. Most Indians view the financial markets as something similar to making a bet and prefer to invest their savings in tangible assets such as gold and real estate. In such an environment, companies like Wilson Financial Services have to go the extra mile or two to cultivate a sense of trust amongst clients, a process which is rendered tougher given their recent entry into the market. The company’s team of experienced professionals knows the entire Indian market in and out and strives to provide specialized services to fulfill a wide range of requirements for an equally diverse set of clients.
The last decade has been rather tumultuous for the Indian currency since it has witnessed a continuous drop in value. The drop began when WFS was just a month into business and had to spend a lot of time and effort in wooing foreign investors who had lost interest in the Indian markets. To add to the woes, the turmoil was followed by tighter market regulations by lawmakers. While the laws themselves are passed keeping in mind the interests of the general public, they at times make it more difficult for services providers to do business. These incidents taught the founders the most important virtue, i.e. patience.
Wilson Financial Services strictly adheres to its principles of trust and bespoke services for its diverse clientele, with customer requirements as the singular point of focus. It is the bedrock policy of WFS to never ever compromise on its principles. While most such fund management companies try to beat the market, Wilson Financial Services sees itself as a trendsetter, creating its own unique benchmarks of customer satisfaction and constantly striving to surpass them. Theirs is an industry that needs to strike a fine balance between smaller short-term gains and larger long-term profits, and WFS manages to achieve the balance while being acutely aware of the looming market forces.
Meet the Founders of Wilson Financial Services
Anand Singh, Founder
Previously Head of Sales at Edelweiss Prime Brokerage, Anand was instrumental in building & scaling the business from scratch over a 10-year stint. Considered to be a thought leader in the securities services & the FPI space, Anand has been part of various panels & seminar on this subject such as Gift city and IVCA etc. Anand has advised & serviced a diverse set of clients including Hedge funds, HFTs, Long only & quant funds. He is also an advisor to a number of start-ups & helps them in their overall strategy & business development.
Nilesh Choudhary, Founder
A chartered accountant by profession, Nilesh comes with rich experience in International finance, compliance, asset management & business operations. Previously the Head of International Compliance (Asia & Africa) at Edelweiss, Nilesh was instrumental in building & scaling up the enterprise functions at various overseas offices of Edelweiss. He independently led Operations teams and implemented various financial systems.
Knowing the Key Team Members
Sumeet Chhabria, Head Strategy
Sumeet brings a decade of experience at heading the strategy, investor relations, corporate communication & new initiatives for listed entities as well as a bunch of startups. An MBA from NMIMS, he has a penchant for equity analysis and more recently was associated with cross border investment transactions with global majors like CLSA.
Anand Mody, COO
Formerly the Chief Operating Officer (COO) at Edelweiss institutional equities, Anand played a pivotal role in setting up risk, electronic trading & business operations during his 11 years stint. Joining Edelweiss, as a trader, in 2005, Anand’s passion for technology led him to play an important role in process automation across different verticals within the group.
Neha Malviya Kulkarni, Head Compliance
Neha brings with her over a decade of experience and proficiency in compliance related matters across verticals which include PMS, AIF, MF, Investment Advisors, Broking, DP, Research Analyst, Commodity, Housing Finance and NBFC. She has been instrumental in setting up fund management compliance practices at Wilson both for the Fund as well as for the clients of the Advisory entity. An MBA from MIT, Neha has previously worked with Edelweiss Corporate Compliance Team and Bombay Stock Exchange Ltd.
Vinit Shah, Head Sales
Vinit joins from Edelweiss Prime Brokerage where he was a key member of the international sales team. In a short span, Vinit developed and nurtured deep relationships across the financial community that led him to play a crucial role in scaling up the Asia Business & win many accolades for his achievements.