Wealth Forum Advisor Confidence Survey 2016
Part IV: AMC Confidence
Which AMCs do you have the most confidence in?


In the earlier two parts of this three part article series, we presented results on business confidence and market & product confidence from the 5th annual Wealth Forum Advisor Confidence Survey, conducted in May 2016.

Business Confidence            Market & Product Confidence

In the concluding part of this series, we present findings from the AMC Confidence section of the survey. Which AMCs do you have most faith in for their ability to create wealth for your clients from equity funds? What about debt funds? Which AMCs are the most innovative? Which ones are most customer friendly? Who supports you best with technology applications? Which ones are the best in terms of distributor engagement and support? Read on as IFA leaders from 42 cities across the country share their perspectives on all these and more.

In this part, we share findings from the AMC confidence section of the survey. We asked leading IFAs from across the country, who were invited to participate in this survey, to list out their top 5 AMCs on each of these parameters:

  1. Ability to deliver superior long term returns from equity funds

  2. Ability to deliver healthy returns from debt funds, with lower volatility

  3. Distributor engagement and support

  4. Distributor training

  5. Innovate new products and services and new sales ideas

  6. Providing relevant technology support to help drive business and serve clients better

  7. Impactful and relevant investor education initiatives

  8. Convenient, investor friendly processes and approach

We asked participants to name and rank only their top 5 in each category - as mindshare rarely goes beyond 5 names for each parameter. In the tables below, we have listed out and ranked the top 10 AMCs that featured the most in the lists provided by the 232 leading IFAs who participated in this survey. Each of the names mentioned here across each region therefore features in the top 5 list of some, many or most of the leading IFAs in each region. Below each table, a reference table has also been provided that compares ranks on each parameter in this survey with the previous four annual surveys.

This year, we have introduced another analytical feature for the two key aspects of equity and debt champions, which we call frequency. Frequency measures the proportion of advisors who have rated a fund house somewhere within their top 5 on a particular parameter, in relation to total respondents of that region. For example, the frequency scores for ICICI Prudential in the equity space for the East region stood at 84% in 2016 and 93% in 2015. What this means is that 93% of respondents in the East had ICICI Prudential among their top 5 in 2015, and this came down marginally to 84% in 2016. Frequency can serve as a good lead indicator to how ranks might move. When the frequency number goes up, it means more advisors have a fund house within their top 5 - which should then result in a higher rank and higher market share. Comparing frequency numbers across fund houses on a particular parameter gives one a much better sense of the competitive positions of each, perhaps far clearer than a rank alone can show.

Equity Champions


Frequency score - equity


ICICI Prudential retains the top slot, and very comfortably at that, going by its frequency scores. 77% of all advisors who participated in this survey have ICICI Pru somewhere within their top 5. Though this figure has slipped marginally from the commanding level of 88% last year, its still a big lead over others.

FT retains its second position, albeit with a lower frequency score. Interestingly, third placed Birla Sun Life has a higher frequency score than FT - which signifies that advisors who have FT in their top 5 have it closer to the top (positions 1 or 2 or 3) while perhaps advisors who have Birla Sun Life in their top 5 have it in positions 3 or 4 or 5. Ranks are given on the basis of positions (1st rank gets the highest score followed by 2nd and so on), while frequency measures the number of times a fund house appears in the top 5 list of advisors. One way to read these numbers is that FT has lost some ground in terms of moving out of the top 5 mindshare of some advisors, while Birla Sun Life is gaining ground as it has come into the top 5 of more advisors this year, and now has to work its way from the bottom part of the top 5 to the top part of the top 5. This is, mind you, just an analysis and an interpretation of the data, and must be considered only as one possible interpretation.

SBI has made a big move this year, up from 10th position in 2015 to 5th position this year. Its frequency scores have registered smart growth across all regions. For it to move up further from the current 5th position, it may want to focus on enhancing frequency score in West and South, where its scores currently are lower than the strong position it holds in North.

HDFC will no doubt be disappointed with a drop in its rank to 6th place and a drop in its frequency score from 58% to 34%. One would imagine that once they are able to shake off the near term performance challenges, you will find HDFC making a strong comeback.

The way the top of the league stacks up is that ICICI Prudential has a comfortable lead in terms of overall score and frequency, then there is a close contest between FT and Birla Sun Life for the 2nd spot. Beyond the top 3, there is presently a very close contest between Reliance, SBI, HDFC and Motilal Oswal for positions 4 to 7. It is to Motilal Oswal's credit that it is locked in such a close race with 3 of the industry majors.

At the next level is Mirae Asset, which has posted a strong growth in rank as well as frequency across all regions. Close of the heels of Mirae Asset is DSP Blackrock, which makes a comeback into the top 10 list, with impressive gains in 3 out of 4 regions on its frequency scores. Better frequency scores in the West can enable DSP Blackrock to move up the league table. Completing the top 10 league is Axis, which has slipped a couple of positions, perhaps on account of near term performance challenges.

Fixed Income Champions


Frequency score - fixed income


After 3 consecutive years at the No. 2 position, Birla Sun Life has wrested the top slot in the fixed income space, with a comfortable lead in terms of frequency scores. FT has slipped from the pole position to No.3 - in all probability as a result of the credit incident that impacted a couple of its portfolios. ICICI Prudential has moved up to No.2 position despite a marginal fall in its overall frequency score. While the number of advisors who have I-Pru in their top 5 has fallen marginally, those who have it, have it in fairly high positions (1, 2 or 3), which is why the rank has improved though frequency has fallen marginally.

Reliance comes in at No 4 with steady improvements in its frequency scores across all regions - which is what has enabled it to move up a notch from last year's 5th position. There is a keen contest between HDFC and Kotak for the 5th position, with HDFC's total points only marginally higher than Kotak's. Kotak has made huge gains in frequency scores across the country, which has enabled it to move up the league table from 8th position to 6th position.

Both DSP Blackrock and SBI have registered good improvements in their frequency scores, but this has translated into a league table jump only for DSP Blackrock - signifying more high positions than SBI, though both are tied on frequency scores.

Distributor engagement champions


ICICI Prudential and Reliance have held on to the top 2 positions for the third year in a row (in fact its 4 years in a row at No.2 for Reliance) - which is very creditable, given the sharp focus all leading fund houses accord to distributor engagement. The 3rd, 4th and 5th slots too remain unchanged from last year. The big move in this league table is Kotak, which has come from unranked straight into the 6th slot.

Distributor training champions


Birla Sun Life has moved up from 5th place straight to the top of the league on distributor training. Its Nipun program seems to be resonating well with the distribution fraternity. The 2nd, 3rd and 4th positions remain unchanged, with Reliance switching positions 1 and 5 with Birla Sun Life. There are three new entrants in this top 10 list - Kotak, L&T and SBI - which demonstrates just how much effort all fund houses are putting into this key developmental activity.

Innovation Champions


The top three positions remain unchanged since last year - with ICICI Pru, Reliance and IDFC occupying them. The 4th and 5th positions have been switched between Birla Sun Life and DSP Blackrock. Kotak is a new entrant in this league table too, coming in at 8th position.

Technology Support Champions


This is a new category we have introduced this year, keeping in mind the focus of several fund houses on providing technology tools and applications to their distribution partners in an effort to promote productivity and scalability. I Pru Touch and DSP Blackrock's IFAXpress clearly have resonated well with champion IFAs across the country, with efforts of Reliance, Birla Sun Life and FT also being well appreciated. Axis will be looking to enhance its position on this score by the same time next year, on the back of its all new OFA (Omni Financial Advisor) - a comprehensive open architecture application now available on a mobile platform. There's a lot happening in this space, and this league table will reflect over time what's going down well with IFAs and what isn't.

Investor Education Champions


ICICI Prudential and Birla Sun Life are seen as the best in this space, with ICICI Pru narrowly pipping Birla Sun Life to the post to claim the pole position. Reliance retains its 3rd spot and IDFC and FT switch positions to complete the top 5. Kotak and SBI are two new entrants in the league table for this important market developmental activity.

Investor Service Champions


ICICI Pru has reclaimed the top spot it lost last year, while Birla Sun Life has moved up from 5th to 2nd position on investor servicing, resulting in Reliance slipping to 3rd position. Kotak and SBI are new entrants in this league table. Both these fund houses have made fairly significant moves up in the league tables across multiple parameters this year - a sure sign of overall business momentum.

To conclude

Wealth Forum congratulates all fund houses that have been named in these lists by India's leading IFAs. It's a competitive world, and with over 40 fund houses in the market, getting into the top 5 of mindshare among distributors on diverse business parameters, is indeed quite a challenge. Mindshare today is market share tomorrow - that's an old adage in the sales world. What our leading IFAs have given us is a peek into who's likely to win market share in the coming quarters.

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