Two friends break corporate shackles to start a wealth management boutiqueJai Vardhan
Managing wealth is an art. Most people invest their savings in opportunities sold by cunning relationship managers, insurance agents and advisers. “We primarily invest in capital protected products (shield from the losses), insurance and structured products (hedge funds) but advisers tend to overlook our long term goals and convince us to buy crappy products to meet their monthly targets,” says Kundan Kunal, a communication consultant and retail investor. Recently, Kundan discovered Ethos Wealth Management which provided timely and transparent wealth management solutions.
Ethos Wealth Management is an investment advisory firm focused on tax efficiency and risk management while planning, implementing and managing investments, income tax, real estate taxation and family finances. Brainchild of college mates Deeraj Shetty and Rakshit Goyal, Ethos ensures you are not sold underrated products for commission. “We work on various strategies, depending on the client’s risk appetite, modified duration strategies etc, which help us map out our client’s asset allocation,” says Deeraj.
The duo met during their MBA at S.P. Jain (Dubai and Singapore) and did all projects, assignments and internship together. The idea for Ethos clicked while interning with Citi Bank NRI wealth management in Singapore. “We conducting primary research during a ‘Comparative Study of Products, Services & Costs of NRI Wealth Management Firms in Singapore’, Rakshit and I recognized glaring glitches in the way banks were working for its customers,” adds Rakshit. Later in September 2011, the duo took their entrepreneurial plunge with Ethos Wealth Management.
“Taking entrepreneurship without considerable amount of experience raises a lot of doubts in people’s mind,” adds Rakshit. The duo attracted opposition from family and friends on their decision to desert lucrative stints at Citi Bank, however it didn’t deter their confidence. “We were willing to give up a steady job and get into a startup where even making Rs.6 lakhs per year was out of the question for at least three years,” says Deeraj.
Creating niche in a market dominated by major banks and mighty financial institutions was a challenge. Initially, the startup conducted various financial planning seminars at institutions such as TCS and Schneider Electric. “Through our unbiased
recommendations and comprehensive solutions, we caught the eye of senior executives from these institutions,” points out Rakshit. Luckily in December the company got cricketer Robin Uthappa as a client to manage his wealth and this helped it to bag invest management of six more cricketers. At present, the startup works with corporate employees, established entrepreneurs, including management executives among others.
The startup doesn’t charge setup and investment or portfolio management fee. It charges only one percent of portfolio value as an advisory fee. It ensures zero transaction errors, dynamic portfolio management and complete paperless transactions.
The biggest challenge for Ethos to burgle the decade-long relationships of banks with clients and realize them (clients) the costs and tax implications of buying products from banks, insurance agents and financial advisors. Ethos is planning to hire financial planners and utilize its knowledge and skills to create a subsidiary and reach out to MNC’s, technology firms and major corporates to provide employees with a solution for their income tax, investment tax planning, loans among others. “Once the platform is ready, we’re willing to extend it to families in Mangalore and Bihar,” adds Deeraj.