The finance forum event of Chetana’s Institutes of Management and Research ‘Arthanaad 2018’ had an interesting theme this year: ‘Decoding Financial Ethics’. In the background of rising scams and frauds in the banking and financial services sector, the theme received a big- thumbs up from the industry.
The event held on September 27th, 2018 started with a panel discussion on ‘Mis-selling in Financial Services’ especially in the mutual funds and insurance products. The panelists were Mr. Chanchal Khandelwal, Co-fund Manager at Birla Sun Life Mutual Fund; Mr. Vikas Sachdeva, CEO at ENAM Asset Management Co and also a proud alumnus of Chetana’s.; Mrs. Lakshmi Iyer, CIO – Fixed Income & Head Products at Kotak Mahindra Asset Management Company and Mr. Ravi Malani, Director Head of Equities at BNP Paribas Wealth Management India Pvt. Ltd. Ms. Lisa Barbora, Consultant at Live Mint was the moderator.
Mr. Sachdeva attributed the lack of information for the rise in mis-selling, which is disguised as advertising by brands. According to Mr. Malani, wrong attitude towards sales practices coupled with the hesitation by investors in seeking financial advice from professional financial advisors has lead to the rise of mis-selling. Ms. Iyer was of the opinion that it was unfair to blame the incentive structure in mutual funds to the malaise of mis-selling. The onus was on all concerned: the investor, the advisor and the company. Mr. Khandelwal emphasized the 4 points of Financial Services viz. Risk, Return, Volatility and Duration and how it is important to understand the risk appetite of the investors to avoid mis-selling.
The Guest of Honor for the Keynote session was Mr. Kaushik Vora, Head of Investment Products and Distribution at IDFC Bank and an alumnus of Chetanas. He addressed the issue of growing NPAs in public sector banks and stated that the “public sector banks are caught between capitalism and socialism”.
The Keynote speaker Mr. Nandkishore Desai, a banker with over 3 decades of experience, in his address pointed out that NPAs were a result of “mis-selling by the borrowers to the bank” He was of the opinion that there is a need for bringing greater transparency in the disbursement of funds at both levels- the bank and the borrower.
Arthanaad 2018 ended on a positive note with learnings and lessons for the inquisitive students to grasp and ponder upon.