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Avendus hires IIFL, BCCL execs to ramp up wealth management business
Pankaj Fitkariwala (left) and Ashvini Chopra, executive directors at Avendus Wealth

Financial services firm Avendus Capital Pvt. Ltd has appointed two executive directors at its wealth management arm, as it overhauled the unit’s top deck after at least three senior executives quit over the past year.

The Mumbai-based company has hired Pankaj Fitkariwala and Ashvini Chopra for unit Avendus Wealth Management Pvt. Ltd, it said in a statement.

Fitkariwala has joined as chief operating officer at Avendus Wealth while Chopra will lead the family office vertical.

Avendus, majority owned by private equity firm KKR, has revamped its wealth management arm’s leadership in recent years as it looks to tap into new opportunities and brace for rising competition.

The company had roped in Nitin Singh, a former Standard Chartered executive, as its managing director and chief executive officer in February. Under the new CEO, Avendus Wealth went through an organisational restructuring and received capital infusion from its parent.

Singh filled in the vacancy caused by the departure of George Mitra, who had led the wealth management arm for almost a decade until he left in December 2019. Apart from Mitra, at least two other senior executives have quit Avendus Wealth over the past few months.

Amrita Farmahan left as senior executive director in September last year to lead Mumbai-based Ambit Group’s wealth management business while Akash Hariani executive director resigned to join Kotak Mahindra Bank.

Fitkariwala joins Avendus from IIFL Wealth Management Ltd, where he was senior managing partner and managed various functions including operations, technology, legal, compliance, risk, accounts and finance.

Before IIFL Wealth, Fitkariwala worked with Barclays Bank where he headed operations and technology for the wealth management business. He has also worked with ABN Amro Bank and Kotak Mahindra Group during his 21-year career.

Chopra joins Avendus Wealth from Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd (BCCL). His responsibilities at the family office of BCCL included lifestyle management, travel and tax planning, investment management and family expenses management. He has 27 years of experience across family office management, private banking and capital markets.

Avendus Wealth CEO Singh said the company has been looking for key talent with deep expertise to build out a “next-generation platform” for wealth management.

Avendus entered the wealth management segment in 2010 and manages nearly $4 billion in assets for about 1,000 clients, including family offices, corporate treasuries and super-rich individuals.

The company competes with the likes of IIFL, Ambit and Sanctum Wealth Management, apart from local banks such as Kotak Mahindra and multinational conglomerates such as UBS, Deutsche Bank and HSBC.

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