Validus Wealth Founder & CEO Atul Singh took a conscious call to be out of metros.
Validus Wealth, a next generation private wealth advisory platform focused on Indian high networth individuals ( HNIs) and Ultra HNIs, is aiming to achieve client assets under advice of ₹ 40,000 crore (near $ 6 billion) in next five years, it’s Founder & CEO Atul Singh has said.
This private client platform , which started its journey in 2017, had recently achieved a milestone of $1 billion in client assets under advice. It had also achieved profitability and operational break-even earlier this year.
“Indian wealth management industry is brilliant space to be in because of the pace of the wealth creation we are seeing here and the under penetration of wealth management services. If we can build upon hitting a ₹ 40,000 crore in five years, that will be a respectable outcome. Potential is definitely there,” Singh told BusinessLine.
Currently, Validus Wealth has close to 180 professionals in 11 locations across the country. Besides larger teams in Mumbai, Chennai, Bengaluru and Gurugram, this firm has presence in smaller locations like Coimbatore, Salem, Goa, Ahmedabad, Pune and Chandigarh.
“We are actively looking at locations like Lucknow or Ludhiana where we can get broader set of clients and where professional money management services are under penetrated. Our growth will be balanced between metro and non metros. We see a lot of demand in Tier 2 cities”, Singh said.
He said that Validus Wealth had taken a conscious call to be out of metros. “Metros of course have lot of built up assets. We are continuously looking at opportunities and we believe lot of our growth could come from non metro locations. Metro will also continue to grow as it is still under penetrated from professional management of money perspective,” he said.
Singh highlighted that private market investing is quite hot in India with most well heeled clients looking to invest aggressively in unlisted firms—especially tech companies. Client risk appetite continues to be there, not just in India but around the world, he added.
He said that Validus Wealth was positioned to handle broader set of clients and was not looking to service only ultra high networth clients.
“We are ready to offer our services to wide range of clients — those with liquid networth of as little as ₹ 5 crore (emerging HNIs) to those having hundreds of crore of investible wealth,” he said.
Singh said he does not have a futuristic number for either Sensex or Nifty, but is by and large positive on the markets as both banks and corporate India have in the last 3-4 years been deleveraging their balance sheet and are looking healthy.
“For the first time, we are seeing investments by companies or private investments that are going to happen. Real estate sector is also quite cleaned up”, he added.
Validus Wealth sees larger visibility for earnings growth and noted that corporate earnings could be up 18-20 per cent in next two years.
“Now we think Price Earnings (PE) multiples expansion may not take place. The next wave will be driven by corporate earnings growth and there are good signs of corporate expansion. Lot of economic activity post the balance sheet clean up are likely to result in corporate earnings. PEs are not sustainable at this level and will not continue to go up. Earnings growth will replace that support. We do see signs of earnings making a comeback and that will support valuation”, he said.