Senthil Kumar N, Director and CEO, The Tamara Coorg

Interviews - Delegates at Family Office Fourm

November 7, 2015

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Biz@India

March-April 2014



Huge potential in Indian family office business

Senthil Kumar N, Director and CEO, The Tamara Coorg

Senthil Kumar N, Director and CEO, The Tamara Coorg

Innovations Investment Management India is a private company incorporated in 2006, to serve as a single family office for the current Managing Director and CEO of Infosys S D Shibulal. Today the company is headed by Senthil Kumar N who is charactersed as a visionary, strategist and planner. His participation in high level operational initiatives, including creating and implementing structures and strategies have improved organizational performance and enabled the organization to thrive through periods of change.
 
• Tell us something about your organisation. When was it initiated and how has it evolved over the years?
 
Innovations (Innovations Investment Management India) was incorporate in FY 2005-06. This was primarily set-up to serve as a single family office for S D Shibulal & family (S D Shibulal is the current Managing Director & CEO of Infosys). Over the last eight years, Innovations has successfully handled all the global tax and other compliance issues for the family members. In terms of investments, when we started almost 100 per cent of the assets under management was cash or cash equivalents. We have developed a dynamic asset allocation plan for this portfolio and have created a portfolio, which are pre-dominantly real assets. We have managed the risk aspects and the financial returns of the portfolio as per the expectations of the family. We have created a hospitality venture from the group – The Tamara Coorg and cofounded a restaurant company Avant Garde Hospitality India.

• Are your existing clients single family units or multiple families?

We are dealing with single family units and we are not yet ready to offer our services to other UHNWIs. However, we will be glad to share our experiences and expertise with UHNWIs, if required.

• What is your firm’s investment philosophy?

Our investment objective is to protect the assets under management from inflation risk. Our risk management is very sound; our returns expectations are generally a function of our risk management and are moderate.

• How are your teams structured to deliver services to the clients? Do you have different services for different UHNWIs – inheritors, selfmade and professionals?

Our company is professionally managed. We have a very lean support team. We try and work with localised expert teams across the globe.

• What are the top three characteristics that distinguish your firm the most from your competitors?

We are handling a first generation UHNWI family and are very conservative. We do not leverage in India, whereas we do limited leverage in USA and Germany property investments.

• Do you provide any client education programmes? Please mention.

We do not have any specific programmes. It is done as part of the intermittent reviews we do with the family members.

• What is your approach towards risk management?

We give utmost importance to risk management, really not worry about returns. We ensure we invest only in such MF schemes where our exposure is not more than 0.05 per cent. We also work on an approximate ticket size of amount $1 million. This simple formula results in very few select funds for us to consider. We then do the final allocation based on relative returns earned on these funds.

• Is there any impact of economic slowdown on the demand? Are clients more cost conscious or quality conscious in the times of slowdown?

Not applicable to us. In fact, in a relative sense, our portfolio allows us outperform most others in a slowdown (laughs).

• What kind of potential do you see for the Indian family office business? What is your outlook? What are the current trends and opportunities?

Potential is enormous. However, we are not sure if the mind-set (of not paying for financial and related advice) will allow rapid progress in this business in the immediate future. Also, since we are a single family office, this is not a very critical issue for us.

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