HNW Market Booming In India

While India continues to rank as one of the poorest countries on earth, the number of its extremely wealthy has risen dramatically in the wake of that nation's financial crisis, which followed Wall Street's 2008 collapse.

High-net-worth individuals constitute 8% of India's total wealthy households, while holding 45% of the country's total wealth. These individuals-69% of whom are in the 30- to 55-year-old age bracket-need long-term financial planning, along with tax advice and advisory asset management. But only 20% actually consult financial advisors; the rest-in a country where even the rich exhibit a limited understanding of the risk and returns associated with the investment products that have made many of them wealthy-are on their own.

These are among the findings in a report released this week by MarketsandMarkets, a global market research and consulting company based in Dallas. The report, HNWI of Indian Wealth Management Industry: Trends, Analysis And Forecast (2010-2015), examines the investments of India's HNWs in various asset classes and analyzes their behavior, needs and demands as a group in terms age and source of wealth. The report also studies the various drivers of wealth creation in India, while shedding light on the restraints and challenges faced by wealth management companies in the country. It also talks about how companies can capitalize on the country's growing high-net-worth population.

Banks are the key players in the wealth management industry in India, according to the report, and include ICICI Bank (India's second-largest), HDFC Bank and Kotak Mahindra Bank. The report examines the non-banking sector as well, detailing the market share of wealth management firms in India. For more information about the report and how to obtain it, visit

In other news ...

Wilmington Trust Corporation
and M&T Bank Corporation have announced their intention to merge, forming one of the largest banks in the eastern U.S. Headquartered in Buffalo, N.Y., M&T has $68.2 billion in assets and operations in the Mid-Atlantic Region. Wilmington Trust, based in Wilmington, Del., has $10.4 billion in assets and locations in Upstate New York, Central Pennsylvania, and the Mid-Atlantic Region.

Fairfax Financial Holdings Limited, Toronto, a financial services holding company with about $1 billion in cash and marketable securities, has acquired First Mercury Financial Corporation, Southfield, Mich., which serves the specialty commercial insurance market, in a transaction that is expected to close in the first quarter of 2011.

Knight Capital Group Inc., Jersey City, N.J., which provides access to the capital markets across multiple asset classes, on October 28 announced its intent to acquire for an undisclosed sum Kellogg Capital Markets' designated and lead market maker businesses, which make markets in about 800 NYSE and NYSE Amex listed securities and 322 NYSE Arca ETFs. A closing is expected in the fourth quarter of 2010.

Morningstar Inc., Chicago, has selected KPMG LLP as its independent registered public accounting firm for the fiscal year beginning January 1. KPMG will replace Ernst & Young LLP, which will complete Morningstar's fiscal year 2010 audit.

PwC (PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP) U.S.'s Annual Corporate Directors Survey shows that directors overwhelmingly believe CEO pay policies could be reformed by such measures as setting minimum stock ownership guidelines, re-evaluating compensation benchmarks and devising realistic peer group comparisons-concepts not included in what ultimately became law in the Dodd-Frank Act. For more information go to

While California's Proposition 19, which would have legalized marijuana, was turned down by voters on Tuesday, Vice Fund portfolio manager Jeff Middleswart noted that its passage would not have created any immediate investment opportunities for fund shareholders. "For us, a good investment needs 'moats'-advantages that rival firms have difficulty replicating," Middleswart explained. "We simply do not see such moats existing, at least at this time, within the commercial marijuana marketplace."

Ernst & Young LLP has been named best accounting firm by Hedge Fund Manager Week for the second consecutive year. The company topped other finalists, including KPMG and PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Less than 50% of women in finance and accounting are satisfied with their careers and only 19% believe they are equally compensated for their work as compared to their male counterparts, according to the new Mergis Group Women in Finance survey. The survey also revealed a need for more mentors within the profession. More information can be found at

Chilton Investment Company, Stamford, Conn., with about $6.5 billion in assets under management, announced this week the formation of Chilton Trust Management LLC to provide wealth management services to ultra-high-net-worth individuals. The new business is headquartered in Palm Beach, Fla.

Most executives responsible for corporate financial reporting say their organizations will be ready for but probably won't adopt International Financial Reporting Standards before the SEC mandate-even if early adoption  is allowed, according to a survey conducted jointly by KPMG LLP and Financial Executives International Inc. For more information go to or

Sun Life Financial Inc., Toronto, has announced that Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada will sell its life reinsurance business to Berkshire Hathaway Life Co. of Omaha, Neb. Closing is expected December 31.

Too often before selling a business, people neglect to include the value of intangible assets in their sales price, according to Dallas-based Generational Equity, which provides services and information for privately held and family-owned businesses. The company has identified more than 40 intangible assets to consider. For more information go to


Ernst & Young will host a series of hedge fund symposiums in financial centers worldwide to examine the multi-faceted issues and challenges facing the hedge fund industry. The symposium will be in Amsterdam on November 10; Chicago, November 11; Boston, November 17; Bermuda, November 18. For a complete schedule and registration information go to

The J.P. Morgan Ultimate Services Investor Conference will be held in New York City November 9, featuring a private equity panel and dedicated education services track. For information e-mail

The Sandler O'Neill & Partners East Coast Financial Services Conference will be held November 10-12 in Aventura, Fla. For information and to register go to

Real estate investment opportunities across the Asia-Pacific region will be a focus at the MIPIM Asia 2010 Conference, scheduled for November 10-12 at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, Hong Kong, along with a keynote address by Nobel Economy Prize laureate Joseph Stiglitz. More information can be found at

Chief Executive magazine's CEO2CEO Summit will be held on December 2 at the New York Stock Exchange. Attendees are limited to CEOs, presidents, chairmen and similar level executives. Sessions will include discussions on innovation, employee engagement and global competitiveness. For more information go to

U.S. interactive local media revenues are expected to grow from $9.2 billion in 2010 to $13.8 billion in 2014. This market opportunity will be examined at the ILM:10 Conference December 7 - 9 in Santa Clara, Calif. For more information go to

On The Move

Pall Mall Capital, a cross-border corporate finance advisory firm based in London, last week acquired SP Merger Group Inc., a specialized international investment advisory. Christopher Shaw, the founder of SP Merger Group, has joined Pall Mall as a senior advisor, along with Roger Cort (formerly at SP Merger), also as a senior advisor.

1st Global, a Dallas-based wealth management and business development firm, has engaged Arthur B. Laffer, known as the "father" of supply-side economics and inventor of the Laffer Curve, as an economic advisor to the company's Investment Management Solutions investment committee and as a consultant to its executive management team.

-Cort Smith