Cafémutual Confluence, 2017 – Anuj Kumar, COO – Asset Management Services, on how there is a need to improve the number of distributors

10-second takeaway: There is a dire need to better train the distributors to understand and utilize the technology at their disposal to better meet constantly evolving customer expectations.

Cafémutual Confluence is the largest mutual fund distributor conference in India, attracting close to 400 distributors, and many other thought leaders and stakeholders across the industry. The sixth edition of the event was held on September 22nd at the Sahara Star, Mumbai with “Play big, think bold” as the central theme. The deliberations aimed to set the agenda for AMCs and distributors to work together to expand the industry and set new standards.

Anuj Kumar, COO-Asset Management Services, CAMS participated in a panel discussion at this event. The topic of this discussion was “Reinventing Distribution – Top distributors will look at how regulatory actions, evolving customer expectations, and technology will require a re-engineering of the distribution/advisory model”. This discussion was also attended by Dhruv Mehta, Jignesh Desai, Nitin Singh, Rajesh Krishnamoorthy, Suresh Sadagopan and Sanjay Sapre (Moderator). The focus of this discussion was the decrease in the total number of serious intermediaries and the dire need to have a mechanism to improve the number of distributors. The need to improve this solely rested on the vacuum that exists due to the availability of data but the lack of actionable insights. Revamping the distribution model to attract and train smarter distributors would help AMCs and other stakeholders improve the sales of their offerings. In short, there is a dire need to better train the distributors to understand and utilize the technology at their disposal to better meet constantly evolving customer expectations.

During this panel discussion, it was noted that inflows were coming in primarily from existing investors and a few newly added investors. Some of the suggestions made to increase the number and quality of distributors were:

  • Create an ecosystem comprising of the AMFI and the IFA which promoting it as a full-time profession.
  • Engage with the government and introduce mutual fund distribution in commerce and economics courses.
  • Highlight the enormous potential the business holds, to prospective entrants.
  • Instill a sense of pride in distribution – ensure that distributors understand that they are delivering an important service and that they are engaged in a ‘noble profession’.

During this panel discussion, Anuj Kumar underscored the need for a ‘superior enablement’. He went on to further highlight that this would entail imparting the right training and providing distributors with intelligence as to where the wealth and surplus lay. This training would comprise improving distributors’ ability to sell, developing their presentation skills, and ensuring they get the right inputs and pointers to succeed in the field. This would ensure that distributors not only feel more confident but also realize that they’re well appreciated by the IFA community.

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72% of life insurance policies are not continued beyond five years: Know why

For the insurance industry as a whole, persistency ratio is crucial from the standpoint of customer retention and profitability. Persistency rate is the percentage of the insurer’s total insurance policies that remain in force without being lapsed. In simpler terms, it is the total percentage of all written policies that are renewed by the insured annually. For insurers, the effect of policy lapses is much larger. The lower the persistency ratio, the higher the operating expense ratio. The problem of low persistency is deeply entrenched and requires addressing product design, customer relationship management, and agents’ selling practices.

In 2015-16, the average persistency rate for life insurance policies in the 13th month was just 61% according to the IRDAI. This is quite an alarming state as compared to the global average of 90% for the same time period. This rate reduces to just 28% in the fifth year indicating the sharp decline in renewals on these policies. This low persistency rate is acutely low and is clearly hurting insurers. However, the influencers of persistency rate are all three key stakeholders: insurers, agents and customers. The question that arose next was about how we can improve the persistence rate in our offerings.

CAMSRep’s iCARE is a proprietary solution that was built to improve persistency for the life insurance industry. It enables the upload of data from insurer systems, analytics, seamless call centre operation and campaign management.  Its feature-rich tools provides insightful dashboards and real-time metrics to the operations team. The inbuilt communication engine/capabilities ensures updated to policy-holders through their choice of channels. This solution helps CAMSRep’s clients improve their CRM and identify areas of development. With the power of real-time data, insurers can now modify their offerings and services to provide the best experience to their customers. It provides analytics that help identify customer segments that aid in call prioritization and offers the customer’s unique history with the particular insurer. This further funnels into database enrichment and MIS, helping manage productivity and customer satisfaction. But the functionality of this solution is not just in identifying areas of development and offering solutions, but in helping resolve them directly with the customers. The communication channels currently offered by iCARE are SMS, email, phone calls and letters. The choice of medium rests with the client.

The revolutionary and industry-leading capabilities of CAMSRep’s iCARE was nominated and won the award in the Best Newcomer category in the recently held Asia Insurance Technology Awards, 2017.

CAMSRep is an IRDAI licensed insurance repository offering its services to a large number of insurers in India. With over 8 years’ experience in this field, CAMSRep helps policy holders buy and keep insurance policies in electronic form. In addition to this, CAMSRep also offers its expertise as a business solutions partner to large insurers.

 

Suresh Kuppuswamy, CEO, Sterling Software, speaks about the future of Bitcoins, Blockchain and Distributed Autonomous Organizations at TiE event.

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A TiE-Chennai event titled “Bitcoins, Blockchain and Distributed Autonomous Organisations” was held on 24th May, 2017 at IITMRP. The event was moderated by Mr. Suresh Kuppuswamy, CEO, Sterling Software Pvt Ltd (a CAMS subsidiary). The focus of the event was to discuss:

  •   The evolution of blockchain and bitcoin
  •   The reasons for a transition from centralised
    organisations to distributed autonomous organisations
  •    Applications of the blockchain beyond Fintech
  •    Future of organisations and the role of
    Blockchains

 

The two blockchain technologies experts in
attendance were:

  •  Mr. Karthik Iyer, India Ambassador, P2P Foundation
  •  Mr. J Mohamed Zahoor, Software Developer, Ethereum Foundation

 

Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency and digital payment system that has attracted the attention of financial systems worldwide and sent ripples across the financial sector. This system was created in 2008 by an anonymous person identified as Satoshi Nakamoto and was released as open-source software in 2009. According to a recent research by Cambridge University, there are between 2.9 to 5.8 million unique users using a cryptocurrency wallet, most of them using bitcoin. The transactions take place between users directly and do not rely on a central repository or single administrator. Instead, these are verified by network nodes and recorded on a public distributed ledger called a blockchain. Due to this, bitcoins have become the first decentralised digital currency.

 

The event first addressed the concepts of bitcoins and blockchains, and mapped their impact on a larger scale before moving on to the importance of distributed ledger systems and how they might affect the centralised systems in existence today. Bitcoin, blockchain and other decentralized data technologies are not just changing the way some people transact and share data but could also transform the way global data is stored, shared and consumed. Their emergence and proliferation into the mainstream is set to create a radical shift in business, the social web and even in digital governance.

 

Sterling Software is a leading technology and software solution provider, largely for the mutual fund industry in India and overseas. They design software solutions and products to keep pace with today’s changing market place. Its software applications and products, support all participants in the MF industry, be it the fund house, the distributor and/or the investor. In addition to that, Sterling Software has a large pool of in-house expertise to regularly develop appropriate and advanced technology requirements. Their products have won various awards, including three consecutive “Best Financial App” from the Global Mobile App Summit & Awards for “myCAMS”.

 

About Sterling Software

 Sterling

Sterling Software Pvt. Ltd. is a software enterprise based in Chennai, India, offering products and services in a range of industries, with its specialty being finance and mutual funds. It is an associate of Computer Age Management Services (P) Ltd. (CAMS), India’s premier mutual fund transfer agency trading over 60% of mutual fund transactions in India.
Sterling Software is the company behind the software innovations offered by CAMS in the mutual fund space in India. The same technological expertise that powered the mobile apps, business analytics tools, lean software, transaction processing capabilities of more than 15 resource-intensive, mission-critical and time-sensitive mutual funds are now available for your business.

Opex in BFSI Summit 2017

Recently, Senior Vice President – New Business Mr. Abhishek Mishra was invited as a panelist at “Opex in BFSI Summit 2017” which concluded on 22-23 of June 2017 at Holiday Inn Mumbai International Airport Hotel.

At the event, Mr. Abhishek reiterated how CAMS, as a solutions partner to the BFSI industry for over 2 decades, has been focussing on design and development of technology solutions/interfaces that reflect the changing expectations of the retail customers. He also discussed how the BFSI eco system is likely to evolve over the next few years, given the convergence of technology, e-commerce practices, fintech innovations and the strengths of traditional BFSI players.

The Distinguished Guest List

Other eminent guests at the event:

About Abhishek Mishra, Senior Vice President

Abhishek has 20+ years of multinational experience in the business services industry and leads the Banking/NBFC, Electronic Payment Systems and other emerging B2C growth areas at CAMS.

He has handled key leadership roles in Change and Strategy, large Profit Center Operations, Business Development, Finance and Transformations. Abhishek is an Engineer with a MBA from IIM Lucknow, Certified PMP and Six Sigma Black Belt. He has worked with ISGN, Accenture, Washington Mutual Bank, GE and Indian Railways.

About CAMS:

CAMS Logo High Resolution

Computer Age Management Services (CAMS) is India’s premier Mutual Fund Transfer Agency serving over 62% of assets of the industry across 15 Mutual Funds. Leveraging superior technology, CAMS brings several innovative services to Mutual Fund investors and distributors. CAMS is also a service partner to leading Insurance Companies, Banks, NBFCs and Alternate Investment Funds. To know more visit www.camsonline.com

CAMS Business Intelligence presented at the MicroStrategy Summit

Technology and Business Intelligence have become integral to enabling growth in major industrial sectors in the country and the Indian Mutual Fund industry is no exception. Keeping In line with the rising interest in BI, US-based leading analytics technology platform MicroStrategy, recently organised an international MicroStrategy Symposia Series. The Symposia spread across the globe, served as a forum for experts to share industry insights and best practices.  Anuj Kumar – Chief Operating Officer, Asset Management Services, CAMS and N. Ramakrishnan – Chief Information Officer, CAMS represented the organisation and delivered the keynote address at the Bangalore edition of the symposia series. The event was attended by the crème de la crème of the Information Technology and Business Intelligence industry, including Michael J Saylor, CEO MicroStrategy.

BI services for the MF industry

Computer Age Management Services (CAMS), as a pioneering organization in technology based Mutual Fund investor & intermediary services space in India, had the scientific insight to envisage the business advantage of leveraging data trends in the Mutual Fund industry, early on.

Focused on building several layers of value over and above the core RTA service to bring about a unique value delivery model, CAMS instituted Business Intelligence services derived via Aggregated Data Repository, that compute and interpret valuable industry insights.

MFDEx CAMS data bureau services

MFDEx CAMS data bureau services, which tracks about 92 per cent of the MF industry, has been providing seamless services availed not only by CAMS serviced funds but also those served by competitors, setting new benchmarks for BI services in the MF industry.

Technically, MFDEx is the most comprehensive Data Bureau service designed to present rich, accurate Mutual Fund data in an intelligent structure using multi-dimensional parameterisation.

CAMS deploys MicroStrategy for BI services owing to the former’s good mobile capability and strong mobility strategy, transaction write back facility, outstanding visualization capability and good, flexible partner network.

CAMSsmart

Powered by MFDEx and MicroStrategy, CAMS has moved on to provide ‘CAMSsmart’ a customised BI service that transforms raw data into actionable insights. Some of the services provided by CAMSsmart include:

    • Business performance tracking
    • Sales Team performance monitoring, reporting, benchmarking
    • Incentive administration
    • Predictive Analytics; What-if scenarios
    • Sales forecasting

CAMS mfCRM+

mfCRM+ fundamentally a powerful mobility solution combining the power of CRM and Analytics, is yet another innovation from CAMS’ BI services suite. It has been implemented with 450+ users with a large AMC and soon to go-live with 2 mid-sized AMCs.

What next – the road ahead

With flourishing prospects for the MF industry, CAMS is now working towards next-gen BI services that are focused on cutting-edge technology offerings that are to benefit distributors, sales and selling strategies.

The Big Switch – Transferring from EPF to NPS

As a Government nominated Point of Presence (PoP), we are pleased to announce that CAMS is pioneering the movement of individuals switching from the EPF to the NPS system in India. While this switchover is imminent, here’s what you need to know about the change.

Technology in the hands of Individuals

In March 2015, during the new Government’s first budget presentation, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley revealed the idea to implement a centralised pension plan, also known as the NPS or the National Pension System in lieu of the ongoing Employee Provident Fund (EPF). It promised to be a simpler, more transparent, portable and regulated system than the current one, while its supervision would be undertaken by the Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA). This move highlighted the need for the working class to make this switch in order to facilitate a better and more organised growth graph for the pension market.

The current Employee Provident Fund option is a scheme that is provided to all salaried individuals in the country. It means that when you start working, you and your employer both contribute 12% of the basic salary (plus dearness allowances, if any) into your EPF account. The entire contribution goes into this account along with 3.67% (out of 12%) from your employer, while the remaining 8.33% from your employer is diverted into your EPS (Employee’s Pension Scheme).
For example, if minimum pay for an employee is above INR 6500 per month, the employer can only contribute 8.33% of INR 6500 (INR 541) to their EPS and the balance goes into the EPF account.

With NPS on the other hand, a portion of an employee’s salary is accumulated in an individual pension account called PRAN (Permanent Retirement Account Number) using points of presence, a central recordkeeping agency, and pension funds as specified in Government norms. A PRAN number is unique to each individual and remains with them throughout their life. NPS accounts are structured into 2 tiers, namely:
Tier-I Accounts: These are non-withdrawable where any contributions made are deposited and invested according to the scheme the subscriber opts for.
Tier-II Accounts:  A voluntary withdrawable account, which is allowed on the basis of a Tier I account already existing in the name of the individual. Withdrawals can be made as per the needs of or claims made by the subscriber.

Monthly contribution to the EPF is mandatory, whereas NPS provides employees with an option to opt out of the contribution clause.This leaves them with more disposable income at the end of each month. While both schemes are aimed at provision of retirement benefits to every employee, NPS offers a more convenient and tax benefiting option to the subscriber than EPF. It is also advisable to keep in mind that, once this switch is made, the NPS system allows an individual to shift back to the EPF plan only once, and without the availability of the perks attached to either scheme.

Computer Age Management Services (CAMS) is India’s premier Mutual Fund Transfer Agency serving over 62% of assets of the industry across 16 Mutual Funds. As of today, we accept service requests 6 days a week across all our platforms for individuals opting to make this switch.

The ETF story in India

World of InvestingExchange Trade Funds (ETFs) have become very popular among international investors especially since the recession in 2008. In 2007 there were 1,171 ETFs worldwide and the number increased to 4,396 by 2015. The ETF market is now expected to reach $7 trillion by 2021. However, it is believed that this growth is reflective of a bigger trend in world market – an appetite for investment in passive funds. While international investors have invested highly in ETFs, the market in India is not too far behind either. Before we take a look at ETFs in India, let’s take a closer look at ETFs in general.

What are ETFs?

Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) are index funds that are listed and traded on the stock market exchange. Index funds could not be traded on the stock market before the introduction of ETFs. An ETF is a collection of stocks designed to resemble the composition of an index like CNX, S&P, NIFTY or BSE. Much like stocks and shares, ETFs experience price changes throughout the day as they are bought and sold. These funds have introduced individual and retail investors to an array of investment opportunities globally. ETFs give investors real time exposure to stock markets in different parts of the world at a lower cost.

The first ETFs

The first time anyone tried investing in an ETF was when the Index Participation Shares were launched for S&P 500 in 1989 in the US, also known as Standard & Poor’s Depositary Receipts (SPDRs). The market has only grown since. According to Morgan Stanley, by the end of 2007 there were 1,171 ETFs trading worldwide with assets roughly worth $800 billion. About 60% of trading volumes on the American Stock Exchange is from ETFs.

ETFs in India

India got its first equity ETF in 2001 when Benchmark Mutual Fund was acquired by Goldman Sachs in 2011, launching the Nifty ETS Fund (ETS is short for Exchange Traded Scheme). The ETF industry has grown since. Indian markets saw an inflow of $2.5 billion in 2014 and $4.3 billion in 2015. The segment also saw net outflows of $2.5 billion in 2016

A divestment target of INR 72,500 crore has been set in this year’s Union Budget. The Finance Minister said that ETF will continue to be a preferred vehicle for this process. He was quoted saying, “A new ETF with diversified CPSE stocks and other government holdings will be launched in 2017-18.” An increase in ease of access and the possibility of trading being facilitated through asset management companies (AMCs) will continue to drive their growth in the country. ETFs comprised of diversified CPSE stocks would be popular with new retail investors if such investors could be served by the Asset Management Companies instead of compulsory demat accounts. Mutual funds are a great benchmark in this regard. Mutual funds service investors who don’t use demat accounts but transact via stock exchange platforms used by both trading members as well as limited purpose members.

Over the years, mutual funds have also established a strong investor servicing infrastructure with extensive linkages to stock exchanges, Settlement Corporation and brokers operating on stock exchange platforms, allowing them to service investors who don’t use demat accounts. Such a model would make ETFs popular with small retail investors. Furthermore, the possibility of trading being facilitated through asset management companies (AMCs) will continue to drive their growth in the country.

About CAMS:

CAMS Logo High Resolution

Computer Age Management Services (CAMS) is India’s premier Mutual Fund Transfer Agency serving over 62% of assets of the industry across 16 Mutual Funds. Leveraging superior technology, CAMS brings several innovative services to Mutual Fund investors and distributors. CAMS is also a service partner to leading Insurance Companies, Banks, NBFCs and Alternate Investment Funds. To know more visit http://www.camsonline.com