The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Born-again UTI hopes to double corpus in a year

Mumbai, Feb. 3: The country’s oldest mutual fund was reborn today as a crisp Sebi-compliant organisation called the UTI Mutual Fund. Sporting a new logo, the new entity’s vision is “to become the most preferred mutual fund” in the country.

By virtue of its past, the mutual fund opened its account with a corpus of Rs 15,000 crore. UTI Mutual Fund now wants to double its corpus within a year.

“Change is the only constant in life,” said M. Damodaran, chairman and managing director of UTI Asset Management Company.

“There comes a time when both individuals and institutions seek to reinvent and redefine themselves,” he said without going into the details of its recent troubled past.

“We are tomorrow’s mutual fund in today’s market,” he said hinting that the morale of UTI employees has been restored.

Incidentally, while UTI Mutual Fund came into existence on February 1, today was the first working day.

UTI MF has the advantage of a large retail customer base. On day one, it is one-and-half times the size of ICICI Prudential, its closest rival. The mutual fund is also ahead of its competitors in terms of retail spread, investor base while the private mutual funds are basically repositories of high net-worth clients and corporate customers.

Damodaran said UTI Mutual Fund wants to become the most preferred mutual fund. And to help in attaining that objective it also has a mission statement.

“To offer customer-oriented, innovative products by leveraging technology to provide superior returns, achieve the highest service standards and attain sustained growth levels through principled human resources striving in a focused, transparent ethical manner to exceed investor expectations”.

UTI AMC will manage 47 NAV-based, Sebi-compliant schemes, including five offshore funds, with a corpus exceeding Rs 15,000 crore. It has already applied for permission from Sebi to get a new scheme, which in all probability would be a liquid fund. All its schemes will carry UTI as a prefix, he said.

Damodaran hopes to build on the predecessor’s retail base. “We want to bring more investors to a well-regulated market, where investors will be rewarded over the long-term,” he said.

UTI Mutual Fund has a strong parentage, comprising four of India’s largest and strongest financial institutions like State Bank of India, Punjab National Bank, Bank of Baroda and Life Insurance Corporation.

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