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Posted by VRIDHI on 24/06/2014
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Posted by VRIDHI on 18/06/2014
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Posted by VRIDHI on 20/08/2014
The outlook towards succession planning and distribution of wealth is changing
Vivina Vishwanathan, 17/8/2014 Mint
Overall outlook towards succession planning and distribution of wealth has changed in India, especially when it comes to the First-Generation Rich.
In 2008, Ramamurthy Thyagarajan, chairman of Chennai-based Shriram Group with annual revenue of Rs.13,600 crore, had set up a trust—Shriram Employees Welfare Trust. According to him, through this trust all executives who have participated in the growth of the group’s business would be beneficiaries and none of his family members would be part of the management or ownership. This is contrary to traditional Indian families’ approach to passing on wealth to its next generation.
Industry experts say that over the years, the overall outlook towards succession planning and distribution of wealth has changed in India, especially when it comes to the first-generation rich. “Private trusts have not been considered by rich families in India. Unlike the West, where private trusts are a way of life both from a succession standpoint and a tax perspective, families in India have not seen the need to set up private trusts for future generations. Increasingly, however, families, particularly those with a business background, are now seeing the need for private trusts,” said Sameer Kaul, head, Citi Private Bank, India.
Why a trust? Wealth managers say that as wealth increases, so do complexities. A trust can be a useful tool here. Hence, the ultra wealthy are now considering private trusts as a vehicle for succession planning, and to avoid complications and legal tussles. “There are often complications arising with partnerships between siblings or cousins, or partner consortium. Whenever we meet the founder, succession is a critical issue on their minds but often unattended partly due to lack of knowledge or clarity and often due to an unknown fear of rocking the boat too early,” said Satya Bansal, chief executive officer-wealth and investment management, India, Barclays Wealth.
Succession planning through trusts has several benefits over wealth transfer done through a Will. For instance, in case of real estate, a Will can be contested and requires to be probated. Not so with a trust. This may be one of the main reasons why the rich prefer to go the trust way in India, where 86% of households’ wealth is in assets such as realty and gold, according to Credit Suisse estimates. “Of our 10 very affluent clients, at least 7-8 either have or want to start a private trust. So the popularity of private trust is increasing,” said Feroze Azeez, director and head, investment products, Anand Rathi Private Wealth. Keeping things as clear as possible also seems to be a reason. “Most families are now open to explore structures such as family trusts, family constitution and family boards.
Many business families are now reviewing their complicated cross-holding investment companies and looking at limited liability partnerships and trusts or a combination of these two to simplify this in line with their succession needs. They often review shareholders’ agreements in favour of more robust family trust structures as a holding vehicle, as it provides greater flexibility and its own governance and rules in a bespoke manner,” said Bansal. What is a trust? A trust is created when a property—a trust’s corpus—is held by someone, say, trustees, for the benefit of another—the beneficiaries.
A trust is basically a vehicle to transfer wealth to the beneficiary. “It gives you the flexibility to transfer wealth. It helps maintain confidentiality of the last wishes of the owner of the wealth, optimizes legal costs and is a useful asset protection tool. Seamless transfer of wealth, asset preservation, consolidation, separation of ownership from management and tax neutral structure are other elements of a trust,” said Sonali Pradhan, managing director, RBS Financial Services.
Is a Will not enough for succession planning? “Most rich families have seen enough challenges around Wills as a succession tool. Also, a Will is often seen as a default option rather than one chosen by design. They have witnessed enough litigation around ownership. Equally challenging is distributed ownership whereby the future stakeholders are often not aligned to steer the business in a clear direction,” said Bansal.
How to form a trust? “First, you have to examine whether there is a need for a trust. You will then have to design the required structure. Once you draft the trust deed, you will have to accordingly get it registered,” said Azeez. “The process involves identifying a service provider, followed by a sit-down session to give a background of the family, the business structure and assets. Once the service provider has an understanding of the family’s requirements, it can provide solutions in terms of ‘type of trust’ structure, the composition of the trustees, and a solution on how the trust funds will be managed,” said Kaul.
You can form a family trust, a private trust, or, like Thyagarajan, an employee trust. The average fees could start from Rs.3 lakh. “For families where the source of income is from business, it is recommended that a succession plan be in place as soon as the children become legally adults in order to use the private trust to divide their assets according to their discretion,” said Kaul. Succession planning has always been an area of concern. Widely reported litigation cases have only thrown more light upon this. That in itself is reason enough for the wealthy, with new money or old, to form private trusts.
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Posted by VRIDHI on 14/08/2014
by Vivek Karwa, CPFA., CFPCM
140813 – After almost a one sided move since long, the market has finally come to terms with reality. The FII flows have slowed down, slowing the market as always, considering our dependence on foreign flows for keeping the sentiments positive. The index is consolidating, as many put it: index management is happening in the market, but once we look outside the index, particularly on the mid cap and the small cap segment, the story is different.
Many mid cap and small cap stocks had run much beyond their fundamentals warranted and has seen considerable amount of selling. In the process better mid cap and small cap stocks also corrected and many have started looking cheap now. We have been mentioning a reasonable target on Sensex, but the real returns will be delivered outside the index as and when the economy starts showing signs of recovery.
There was lot of dust and negative sentiment around past 12-18 months which seems to be settling down now. The expectations from the new government are really high and we all know that, no person can do wonders within three months of assuming office, considering the size and diversity of our country. The initial moves of the government seem to be in the right direction. The budget showed that this government will not lure people by doles and is serious about curbing the fiscal deficit.
IIP, Inflation and other economic indicators may remain unfavourable for some more time. But as the measures of the new government starts reaping benefits, we may see them moving for good and bringing back the focus on serious economic development. The increase in FDI limit in certain sectors will go down well in long term and will attract money from foreign players.
We import crude oil for our energy requirements. It is the biggest portion of our import bill. We also import mobile phones, laptops and tablets. With the kind of penetration taking place, forget ordinary phones, we may start seeing every individual shifting to smart phones! Estimates suggest that this bill may start competing with crude oil bill if things continue in same pace. Hence the government has announced measure which will encourage manufacturing of electronic communication devises in the country itself.
The next big thing which we import is in the defence sector. With such hostile neighbours, we need to keep our war chests always ready and hence it was always warranted that we increase the FDI limits in this sector, and the government did the right thing.
Such measures are generally not fancied by the public. They find nothing amusing in such decisions since they do not excite like how free food or farm loan waivers may! But these measures should prove to be good in the long term. We should hope that the government should continue with reforms and don’t fall prey to same mistakes which the previous government did.
Expect markets to do well over a period of time. If the administration works the way it is working today, we may see lot of money flowing in to the economy, including the stock markets.
Disclosure:- It is safe to assume that the author may have interest in the sectors recommended in this news letter. Seeking personal advice from your Financial Advisor is recommended before acting on any of the substance given herein. The numbers, figures, etc., presented may have been taken from various sources.
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Posted by VRIDHI on 14/08/2014
Tech, compliance costs push brokers to exit door
According to Sebi, 203 brokers and 4,540 sub-brokers have closed shop since January’2014
India’s stock markets continue to witness the exodus of brokers and sub-brokers despite rising turnover and higher stock prices, as cutting-edge technologies and costlier compliance drive many smaller firms out of business.
According to the latest monthly bulletin from the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi), 203 brokers and 4,540 sub-brokers have closed shop since January while the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex gained 20% during the period. There has been a marginal fall in the number of registered brokers in the equity derivatives segment as well.
To be sure, the number of registered brokers and sub-brokers fell last year too, when the Sensex gained nearly 9%. According to Sebi data, the number of brokers and sub-brokers fell by 714 and 16,549 respectively in 2013. Market intermediaries point to higher compliance costs and new technologies driving out brokers. The smaller firms have also lost business to organized brokerages with a wide reach and large client base, offering full product suites.
“Compliance and surveillance has become tighter with time and hence investments towards the same have also increased,” said Vishal Gulechha, head of equity product group at ICICI Securities Ltd, one of the largest domestic brokerages with three million customers.
Norms put in place by the capital market regulator mandate an internal code of conduct for all intermediaries. For instance, none of the employees including temporary staff and voluntary workers is supposed to circulate unverified information related to companies and stock prices. The compliance officer of the intermediary has been made responsible for all such acts as part of Sebi’s efforts to tighten compliance requirements for brokerages to safeguard investors.
Technology is playing an increasingly important part as well. “Brokerages have to spend a huge amount on technology,” said Vinay Agrawal, executive director (equity broking) at Angel Broking Pvt. Ltd. “There is a lot of competitive pressure and small players find it difficult to afford the kind of technology required to meet the investor and business needs.
”Brokerages have been investing in technology ever since software-based trading such as algorithmic or algo trading became popular. Algo trading refers to using software codes to automate and enhance order-matching processes. According to BSE Ltd, the share of algo trading has increased from 8% in July 2012 to 28.77% in July 2014.
“Exchanges keep enhancing their technology and the brokerages have to keep pace. We have a whole bunch of pre-defined strategy-based software and many medium- and large-sized brokerages are interested in it,” said Hitesh Hakani, director of Greeksoft Technologies Pvt. Ltd, a firm specializing in developing strategy-based software, explaining the increased tech costs faced by brokerages.
Brokers who haven’t embraced new technologies are under intense pressure from falling cash volumes and rising costs, said Gulechha. According to him, ICICI Securities, which once had just one trading platform, now has platforms for iOS, Android, Windows and Microsoft Silverlight devices as well as for slower Internet connections.
The average daily turnover in the cash segment of BSE has increased from Rs.2,160 crore in January 2014 to Rs.2,663 crore in August. The National Stock Exchange of India Ltd has seen turnover rise from Rs.11,114 crore to Rs.14,808 crore in the same period.
Some market participants, however, feel that most entities exiting the business are small-time entrepreneurs who were into proprietary trading.
“There were a lot of small players who mostly did proprietary trading or serviced a very small set of rich individuals. With many such investors opting for organized large brokerages, the business obviously took a hit. Their closure did not impact the market or the investor base as such,” said the director of a domestic brokerage firm on conditions of anonymity.
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Posted by VRIDHI on 02/08/2014
The previous UPA govt was almost about to sign the #WTO agreement, Anand Sharma, the then commerce minister had even hailed this anti-Bharat agreement!
#Modi has just thrown this agreement into dustbin!
US has now got the real taste of what Bharat can stand for if real Nationalists rule the country!
Iam sure Most of us don’t understand WTO fully, why doesn’t the Media, show and debate this on TV instead of other trivial issues!
Why the so called anti-US parties like the Left and CPI, CPM are mum? Why don’t they hail this Pro-India move? They are quite just because Modi Sarkaar did this?
Difficult subject but will write about this to what ever extent I know in the next MFF article. Join the mailing list… see on left of the screen.
Posted by VRIDHI on 30/07/2014
Rajasthan CM Vasundhara Raje is trying to transform her state into an economic powerhouse with a raft of reforms. A chronicle of the change that’s underway.
Anil Padmanabhan, 30/7/14 Mint
A day after India celebrates its 68th Independence Day, Vasundhara Raje , chief minister of Rajasthan, and the rest of her cabinet will head out to the Udaipur division of the state—not on a junket, nor for an offsite, but for hard work at the grassroots level. Over the following fortnight, the cabinet will work out of Udaipur, and, between them, its members will cover 1,600 panchayats, or local administrative bodies, in the Udaipur division, reviewing infrastructure in the rural areas. “This is the third such trip we are undertaking since our government was re-elected. The idea is to review the state of the rural infrastructure, beginning with the panchayat bhawan (building), school buildings, teacher-student ratio and so on,” explained Raje, who led the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to a landslide win in Rajasthan in December.
For the two-time chief minister, the rather unique initiative of taking the government to the people is part of a strategy to radically overhaul the existing administration to ensure that governance doesn’t suffer from last-mile problems. The rural outreach is a logical sequel to the Suraj Sankalp (promise of good governance) programme Raje launched in the run-up to the assembly election last December to drum up political support for herself and the BJP. In the six months ahead of the election, Raje travelled to every constituency in the state to interact with the electorate firsthand. It was an experience, she says, that changed her world view. What she heard led her to conclude that grievance redressal was a key demand at the grassroots; and she realized it could not be delivered without shaking up the local administration.
The upcoming review of the rural infrastructure, like the previous two, will be used to identify the problems and the agencies that can deliver the solutions without the usual red tape. “What we will do is create a database of officials dealing with specific issues. And this will be put online so individuals can directly approach these officials and thereby ease the pressure on members of the legislative assembly (MLAs) who are then freed (up) to devote their time for larger causes,” Raje said. Alongside, the state government is moving to digitize land records and birth data. E-kiosks, to be set up in the next six months in panchayats, will facilitate delivery of such data on a real-time basis—doing away with the intermediation and delay that often took place when the transaction was routed through the local officer, called patwari. Clearly, Raje is looking to create a compact of trust with the people who so overwhelmingly voted for the BJP, not just in the assembly election but also in the 16th general election—the party swept all 25 seats, which was critical in the BJP getting to a record 282 seats in the Lok Sabha, winning a majority on its own.
Armed with this social capital, Raje wants to push ahead on bolder reforms. Some, like the radical overhaul of decades-old labour laws that plague Indian industry, have already been initiated. Together, these could dramatically transform the province once identified as part of the Bimaru states. The term Bimaru—Bihar (BI), Madhya Pradesh (MA), Rajasthan (R) and Uttar Pradesh (U)—was coined by Ashish Bose, the demographer, in the context of the similarity in their demographic statistics. However, over the past three decades, they have come to signify the sad narrative of social and economic stagnation, and not only because of the phonetics (bimar is the Hindi word for illness). The new Gujarat At the turn of the millennium, Narendra Modi took charge as the chief minister of Gujarat with a similarly ambitious agenda. Luckily for him, the state’s administration had, under the aegis of a structural adjustment programme sponsored by the Asian Development Bank, already gone through a major overhaul.
The tailwind of India’s growth revival, again led by a global economic surge, created an even better context for Modi to exploit. The rest, as we all know, is history—something that propelled Modi to the national stage as India’s 14th prime minister. Raje seems to be inheriting a similar constellation of circumstances in Gujarat’s northern neighbour. Not only is the Indian economy beginning to look like it is ready for a second life, people across India (including Rajasthan) are now driven by their aspirations—as opposed to being happy with entitlements or handouts—leaving them better placed to appreciate the underlying ideology of reform initiatives: no gain without pain. This change in attitude, and the number of young people in the country (almost 52% of the Indian population is below the age of 35), are among the factors credited with the political resurgence of the BJP. Like Modi before her, albeit in a different state, Raje too is seeking the mantle of being a politician with a difference.
The proximity to Delhi will no doubt be a factor. The Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor and more than a third of the 1,483km-long dedicated western rail freight corridor between Dadri in Uttar Pradesh and Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust in Navi Mumbai, will pass through the state. Both are game-changing projects that will bring development directly to the state’s doorstep. The traffic between Jaipur and Delhi is dominated by commercial vehicles—as opposed to the trend, say, even five years ago. It is a harbinger of things to come. The question is whether Raje will exhibit the same political will that Modi demonstrated during his three terms at the helm in Gujarat. Raje’s first eight months seem to suggest that she is on course. She first came to power in 2003, lost the re-election narrowly in 2008, and came back from the political wilderness in 2013 to choreograph a spectacular win, giving her a second shot as chief minister.
Raje brings along tremendous passion to alter the status quo and is driven by the desire to propel her state to the top tier among the country’s states. As she herself admits, her first stint, where her desire for accelerated reforms created politically undesirable disruptions, has prepared her for the second stint—to hit the right pace, not too fast, but not too slow either. Radical reforms Raje grabbed national attention after her government announced labour law reforms in early June; this was followed up with another round of reforms a month later. It has since moved legislation to amend four key national labour laws: the Industrial Disputes Act, the Factories Act, the Contract Labour Act and the Apprentices Act.
While Indian industry welcomed the move to amend the laws that allow firms to hire and fire—a long-standing demand—according to their needs, the chief minister herself is very circumspect of the objectives. To her, the labour law reforms were part of a package to create better opportunities for employment. “I believe if you look at reforms in this (labour) sector, it doesn’t go towards hurting labour; it goes towards improving the habitat for employment and that I think this is very, very important,” she said. The state’s budget for 2014-15—presented by Raje, who has retained the finance minister’s portfolio—seems to vindicate her claim. Presented in July, the budget accelerates the reforms process, touching upon a range of issues designed to lift the state’s economy, streamline administration, facilitate a greater role for the private sector by putting the public sector on notice, and also initiate rationalization of user tariffs of politically sensitive items like water. It has initiated “de-nationalization” of the roads network, breaking up the monopoly of the state transport undertaking. (In most Indian states, the state-owned transport corporation has the monopoly to ply on inter-state routes).
Raje argues that competition is the key to improving service delivery, which will then justify the move to charge to user tariffs that reflect underlying economic costs. “The most important thing is to be able to create quality delivery. Why would you want to pay for electricity when you don’t get the quality that you should be getting? You get five hours of power cut and you are still to pay electricity bills! Naturally you will protest,” Raje explained. In an aspirational society, Raje’s logic stands a better chance of gaining traction and provide political cover against critics. Like finance minister Arun Jaitley enunciated in the Lok Sabha during the debate on the Union budget, the Rajasthan unit of the BJP, too, is arguing that you can be pro-poor and pro-business—at the same time. Inclusion While the Congress owned the message of inclusion, pioneering the entitlement regime, the BJP, either by coincidence or design, seems to have married this with the philosophy of growth. And it is doing this by empowering people—as Manish Sabharwal, chairman of staffing company TeamLease Services Pvt. Ltd, put it, taking people to the jobs through a massive dose of urbanization and infrastructure creation.
Accordingly, Raje has come up with two solutions to deliver on her election promise of empowering the people of Rajasthan. One is a very ambitious financial inclusion programme, the Bhamashah scheme; the other is a restructured skill development programme that will be conducted in coordination with the top companies in the country and will not only train but also generate employment for those taken into the programme. The Bhamashah scheme seeks to leverage information technology and the Aadhaar programme (the previous government’s unique ID project) to create a database to deliver individual and family-based benefits, including cash transfers under various public welfare schemes, to the beneficiaries directly and transparently.
Meanwhile, Raje is working on making people, especially the young, realize that there are better opportunities than a government job. “I explain to the youth that there are only 800,000 government jobs. What I can do, and I am doing, is to create an opportunity, especially through skill development,” Raje said. To prove her point, in mid-July Raje inked a deal with several companies to train people. “In the next one year,” Raje explained, “say, by around next March, 1.34 lakh people will be employed with good salaries. My target for the next five years is employment for 1.5 million people; some of the jobs will come from government, but a large number is coming from outside.” Clearly, Raje has a strategy to propel Rajasthan onto the national stage. Since it relies on a strategy of making people stakeholders in the transformation, it holds out the promise of being the smart thing to do politically as well. It is now for her to walk the talk.
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