Multi-family office Waterfield Advisors’ fund of funds hits first close
Photo Credit: VCCircle

Multi-family office Waterfield Advisors on Thursday said it has marked the first close of its fund of funds at Rs 200 crore ($27.4 million), just within three months of getting approval from the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI). 

The fund of funds seeks to raise a total of Rs 500 crore ($68.6 million), said Waterfield Advisors in a statement. It expects to make the final close by September, it added. 

The fund of funds has received commitments from well-established single-family offices and ultra-high net worth (UHNW) individuals.  

Soumya Rajan, founder and CEO of Waterfield Advisors, said that the first close of the fund of funds reaffirms the need for more institutional domestic capital to enter the private equity and venture capital (PE/VC) space in India and support home-grown investment managers.  

The first close of Waterfield Advisors' fund of funds comes after SEBI last month eased rules for investments for such funds. 

In May, SEBI notified that Indian fund of funds backing private equity or venture capital funds can invest up to 25% of corpus in one portfolio company either directly or through another fund. 

Before this, under the Alternative Investment Fund (AIF) regime, SEBI allowed fund of funds to only invest in other funds as a limited partner.    

Other funds of funds in India include the National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF), Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) and other government-backed funds of funds such as Electronic Development Fund and Self Reliant India Fund of Funds.   

Other private wealth managers also have funds of funds as part of their asset allocation strategy for other PE or VC funds. IIFL Wealth had launched a Rs 750 crore fund of funds in December 2020.  

Waterfield Advisors, which was founded in 2011, is an independent multi-family office and wealth advisory firm. It has six offices in the country. 

In 2014, Amit and Arihant Patni acquired about one-fourth of Waterfield for an undisclosed amount. Amit and Arihant are sons of Gajendra Patni, the eldest of the Patni brothers who had founded Patni Computers. 

In a 2017 interaction with VCCircle, Rajan had said that the firm had halted its direct involvement in advisory services related to transactions to focus on the core business and expand its overall asset base multi-fold. 

A year later, Waterfield adopted the advisory-only route after the Securities and Exchange Board of India separated advisory and distribution activities and asked wealth managers to choose one line of activity, according to a media report the company cites on its website.

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