Berkshire to scout for ASK Group’s foreign partner

Updated on Aug 29, 2007 10:51 PM IST

ASK group has appointed US-based Berkshire Capital to scout for another foreign partner for its businesses, reports BS Srinivasalu Reddy.

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Hindustan Times | ByBS Srinivasalu Reddy, Mumbai

ASK group, which bought out its joint venture partner, Raymond James last March, has appointed US-based Berkshire Capital to scout for another foreign partner for its businesses.

“We have appointed New York-based investment banker Berkshire Capital to find a suitable foreign partner for our businesses,” Asit Koticha, chairman, ASK Group told newspersons after launching financial planning and wealth management services through a new entity ASK Wealth Advisors Private Ltd.

“There are a lot of things we have to learn from financial market players in developed countries, particularly in terms of processes and technology. However, we will decide the nitty-gritties of tie-up only after assessing what they could bring to the table,” Koticha added. In July, ASK group sold 60 per cent stake in its broking arm ASK Securities to Nimesh Kampani’s JM Financial, which had sold its institutional business to its JV partner Morgan Stanley and was looking for building its retail business.

At present, ASK group has presence in wealth management and advisory services through ASK Investment Managers, investment banking services through ASK Investment Banking and broking services through ASK Securities. The group manages over Rs 2,000 crore of funds mainly through ASK Investment Managers.

Referring to the positioning of financial planning and wealth management operations, ASK Wealth Advisors CEO Rajesh Saluja said the new company was targeting customers at two levels those with at least $1 million (Rs 4.1 crore) of investible resources and the other category with investible surplus of Rs 1 crore.

“Our focus will be on providing custom-made objective financial advice. Unlike financial advisors who base their decisions on commissions obtained, our advise would be based on set objectives and the client’s risk-return profile,” Saluja added.

India has over 1,00,000 investors with over Rs 4 crore of investible funds, and 2.5 lakh investors with over Rs 1 crore of investible surplus.

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