(Bloomberg) -- Edelweiss Wealth Management, majority-owned by alternative asset manager PAG, is set to diversify for the first time out of India with its expansion plans focused on the key markets of Singapore and Dubai.
The Mumbai-based firm’s private banking unit plans to hire as many as eight bankers across both the cities over the next 12 months as clients favor these places for their businesses and lifestyle, Alok Saigal, its president and head, said in an interview in Singapore. With assets under management of $28 billion and about 140 bankers in India, it now seeks to almost double this to $50 billion in five years with 20% of the assets to be offshore, he said.
“We are very confident in India’s growth,” said Saigal, who was also interviewing candidates during his visit this week to the city-state. Singapore offers a “rare element of safety and stability,” while Dubai is a major trading hub where wealthy Indians like to buy properties and use as a gateway to North Africa and Europe, he said. Besides the two cities, Saigal is also eyeing growth in London and Europe.
The firm’s strategy comes two years after Hong Kong-based PAG bought a stake in Edelweiss, a nod to India’s growth that has since seen the country’s economy overtake the UK to become the world’s fifth largest. The number of millionaires in India, from where Gautam Adani recently surpassed Jeff Bezos to become the world’s second-richest person, is expected to double by 2026 to 1.6 million, according to a Credit Suisse Group AG report published this week.
Apart from hiring, Edelweiss also wants to partner with more firms in Europe and Asia to help grow its offshore business. In 2019, it tied up with Bank of Singapore to allow its clients in India to access products of Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp.’s private bank.
Even though India remains strict in limiting outflows, with individuals only allowed to bring up to $250,000 outside the country each year, the fact that many wealthy clients already have overseas businesses makes Edelweiss’ plans achievable, Saigal said.
“Demand is not a problem,” he said.
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