Religare Enterprises has appointed Saurabh Nanavati as the CEO designate of its asset management business. Nanavati, who was ex-Chief Investment Officer for HDFC Standard Life in India, has been involved with Religare for the last one year. Prior to HDFC Standard Life, he had worked for Deutsche Asset Management, both in India and Singapore. 

Ajay Bagga, the existing CEO of Lotus India AMC, is moving out of the firm post buyout by Religare. Religare last month acquired Lotus AMC (a venture of Temasek-funded Fullerton and London-based Sabre Capital Worldwide) in what was believed to be a bargain deal.

Subsequently, Religare and Dutch financial services major Aegon had decided to part ways in their existing asset management joint venture in India, Religare Aegon Mutual Fund. This came within a month after the JV firm received regulatory nod to commence business.

Though some reports linked the development to the acquisition of Lotus Mutual Fund, others hinted at the deal where Religare Enterprises acquired London-based brokerage Hichens Harrison as it translated into a conflict of interest between the partners in the European market.

Under the restructuring, Lotus Mutual Fund would become Religare's asset management business in India and Aegon would assume control of Religare Aegon Mutual Fund. Religare has received regulatory approvals for divesting its stake in its 50:50 AMC JV with Aegon.

The break-up of the asset management JV, however, does not affect the life insurance JV between Religare and Aegon. In this venture, Religare holds 44% stake while Aegon has 26%. Media house Bennett Coleman & Co Ltd (BCCL), through its private treaties wing (which sells ad space for equity) owns the remaining 30% stake in the life insurance venture.

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