The financial markets generate a lot of number on a per second basis. There are people who have made it a profession to convert this information into trends, buy-sell signals, charts and pivot tables. Over the last 18 years of financial journalism, I have realised that every number has a story to tell. And these numbers as a trend normally never lie. I am forever looking for these trends.
Profile: Managing director, UTI Asset Management Company
Career: Partner at AT Kearney & Mitchell Madison, director at Mckinsey & Co, and managing director at Warburg Pincus
Interests: Reading, trekking
A year has passed since Leo Puri was appointed managing director of UTI Asset Management Company. The institution’s reputation was blemished after the dotcom crash in 2001 when investors had lost money in US-64 (one of its oldest and most popular schemes). The organisation was headless for more than 18 months after its former chairman and managing director UK Sinha quit to head the Securities and Exchange Board of India.
Puri is now optimistic about steering UTI back to its leadership position. Excerpts:
Q. What attracted you to the UTI top job?
UTI has a legacy. It remains an institution that has a significant potential to contribute to the development of capital markets, and broaden the financial system in India. This is an opportunity to lead a transformation, which is not business as usual.
Q. Initially, which areas did you concentrate on?
It is important to get a sense of direction and rebuild a sense of purpose for the institution. Our purpose is not only to be relevant, but also to broaden and deepen the scope of Indian capital markets by bringing in more investors. We took an honest stock of where we stood in the marketplace. We understood the challenges and identified the opportunities. The third goal was to build leadership.