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AIG Asset wants to make a splash here

The recently-launched AIG Asset Management, the Indian mutual fund arm of AIG Global Investment Group, wants to create a niche for itself in alternative assets like private equity, real estate funds and hedge funds.

The AMC is the first international fund house to enter India directly without a joint venture with an Indian entity. It also plans to bring a novel strategy to India where the fund house itself invests money in the mutual fund, alongside several retail and institutional investors.

AIG Global Investment Group was ranked fifth in the latest list of Fortune 500 companies by assets. “We believe as the investment climate in India matures, alternative asset classes like private equity, real estate funds and hedge funds (or fund of funds) will be extremely popular,” says Saurabh Sonthalia, MD and CEO, AIG India AMC. “Besides, the regulatory environment in India will also open up in years to come,” he explains.

AIG AMC’s first launch will be an equity diversified scheme (without any specific market cap bias) that is expected to hit the market by May. “The AMC would be investing a token amount in every mutual fund it launches,” says Mr Sonthalia. “This should reassure the investor that all our investment strategies are passing the test of our international expertise in managing assets,” he adds.

The AMC has recruited Tushar Pradhan, formerly with HDFC Mutual as the chief investment officer — equities while Shridhar Narayan, ex- Zurich AMC fund manager will head its fixed income operations. Besides, nine people on the fund management side, it has by now a total workforce of around 50 employees. It has already tied up with 900 distributors across the country for selling its products.

The AIG Group first entered India through its private equity business in 1997, and launched its insurance JV with Tata Group in 2001. This year, the group is launching three businesses in India, including mutual fund, real estate fund and consumer finance.

AIG Global AMC is the latest among the long list of international AMCs to enter India recently, including Dawnay Day, JP Morgan, UBS, Nikko Asset, Korea’s Mirae Asset and Credit Suisse.

Source : Economic Times

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