NISM collaborates with CRISIL to launch certification for wealth managers

Making an investment choice between actively and passively managed funds, exchange- traded funds, and opportunities abroad is not easy and requires expert advice
National Institute of Securities Market
National Institute of Securities Market

The National Institute of Securities Market (NISM), in collaboration with CRISIL, on Thursday launched a certification programme in wealth management. It will cover the entire lifecycle of wealth management, equipping participants with deep conceptual understanding, and ability to use that to serve clients effectively, and aims to build wealth management capacity at banks, NBFCs, mutual funds, brokerages and family wealth offices.

While traditional curricula provide a good grasp of financial products, most are academic and follow global practices. On the other hand, the NISM and CRISIL Certified Wealth Manager programme is tailored to directly address client-specific needs of building, growing and sustaining wealth - aspects where traditional savings channels come up short because incomes and aspirations keep changing amid rising product complexity, Crisil said in a statement.

The rising importance of wealth management is also underscored by the increasing financialisation of household savings. Assets under management (AUM) of India's mutual funds has topped Rs 31 lakh crore in March this year, up from Rs 12 lakh crore in same month 2016. This growth rides on strong participation of retail households - especially through the Systematic Investment Plan route - and persistent inflows to exchange-traded funds. All indications are this pace of growth will sustain.

This has also caused a problem of plenty - there over 1,700 mutual fund schemes today, with little to distinguish between fund houses.

Making an investment choice between actively and passively managed funds, exchange- traded funds, and opportunities abroad is not easy and requires expert advice.The emergence of alternative asset classes, including, but not limited to, real estate investment trusts (REITs), infrastructure investment trusts (InvITs), and commodities, along with rising lifestyle aspirations such as of foreign holidays and children's education abroad mean competition for the share of wallet is increasing.

Then there are double-income families, nuclear families, and non-resident Indian inward remittances. All of these are driving demand for bespoke wealth management plans and products. So much so, wealth management is now a specialist skill that combines strong theoretical foundation and practical intelligence. SK Mohanty, Wholetime Member, Securities and Exchange Board of India and Director, NISM, said: "With the expectedincrease inretail penetration, it isimportant that investor interestsare protected. The needof the hour is to have wealth managers who can prescribe meaningful investment advice aligned to their clients' risk tolerance, return expectation and financial needs. Also, given the fiduciary responsibilities of a wealth manager, it becomes equally important for them to be grounded in ethical principles, such as client confidentiality, transparency and objectivity."

Ashu Suyash, MD & CEO, CRISIL, said, "The CRISIL-NISM programme will be the gold standard in wealth manager certification.It will help wealth managers sharpen their conceptual understanding,get a 360-degree view of the financial markets, credit conditions and economic environment, and gain insights on relevant trends across asset classes, thereby enabling stronger customer acquisition and retention."

"Investors, too, stand to gain as high-quality wealth managers emerging from this programme will be able to offer them right advice, thereby reducing the element of risk. For the industry,this will help drive sustainable flows, boosting its long-term resilience and contributing to growth. All this is in line with CRISIL's mission of making markets function better - an end all our training programmes are designed to achieve."

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