CAL’s all-women investment management team now the largest in the country

Friday, 6 March 2015 00:04 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

  • International Women’s Day 2015 by featuring its high performing all-women investment management team

Capital Alliance’s all-women investment management team, headed by Ashveeni Shanthikumar, CEO, CAL Investments, has rapidly evolved into the largest fund management unit in the country. As part of its International Women’s Day 2015 celebrations, CAL is shining a light on this dynamic and successful all-women team that has contributed significantly to the company’s overall success. Each year, International Women’s Day celebrates women and their achievements, the theme for 2015 is ‘Make it Happen’ and that is exactly what Shanthikumarhas done at CAL over the last few years. Shanthikumar’steam currently manages an excess of Rs. 40 billion in assets and is revolutionising the country’s financial services and investment landscape. Managing 11 different unit trusts, her team has enabled CAL to become the largest unit trust management company in the industry. Today three of the company’s most popular funds are the High Yield Fund, the Corporate Treasury Fund and the Quantitative Equity Fund. Shanthikumarjoined CAL in 2011 and in just a few years,she has made the company’s Investment Management team a market leader and pioneering force in the industry. Currently leading an all-women team of financial professionals, she brings with her a wealth of expertise and commitment that has yielded exceptional results for CAL and its clients. Shanthikumarspearheaded the launch of the country’s first-ever Quantitative Equity Fund and continues to provide CAL’s clients with tailor-made solutions that meet their diverse needs. More about the management team:Shanthikumarholds a BSc. in Mathematics from Imperial College London and initially entered the industry through Amba Research – an international KPO firm where she worked as a Quantitative Equity Analyst. Returning to the United Kingdom, shejoined JP Morgan Chase as a Quantitative Risk Manager, subsequentlyshe worked at London based hedge fund De Putron. Shanthikumarreturned to Sri Lanka to join CAL in 2011. Her team also comprises Thilini Karunaratne, Manager, Asset Management, CAL who manages the Fixed Income Unit Trust portfolios at CAL Investments. Karunaratneis a member of the Investment Committee and also heads the company’s research initiative and the operations for CAL. She also started her career at Amba Research as a Financial Analyst where she was in charge of conducting research on global equities for one of the largest mutual funds in the world. She is a member of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants UK and holds an LLB from the University of Colombo and is also an Attorney-at-Law. A great sales and research team: Ananya Udeshi is a key member of the company’s sales team at CAL Investments and handles the responsibility of managing client relationships. She holds a BSc. in Economics & Statistics from University College London (UK) and is also a level 2 CFA candidate.Udeshi is also a member of the Investment Committee and is primarily responsible for the credit assessment of financial sector issuers. She also functions as CAL Investments’ lead economic analyst. An uphill battle at the start: Having returned to Sri Lanka after eight years abroad, Shanthikumar faced many challenges when she started building CAL’s Investment Management team in 2011. In a short period of time she has developed long-lasting relationships with clients, and has consistently grown CAL’s investment portfolio.When she joined the company, the company’s assets under management were valued at Rs. 100 million and in approximately three years, she has grown the value of investments substantially, positioning CAL’s Investment Management team as the best in the country. A creative approach to meeting clients’ needs: Shanthikumar attributes CAL’ssuccess to the company’s strong commitment to developing tailor-made solutions for its clients. As an integral part of its strategy, CAL has always focused on designing productsthat creatively and effectively meet the unique needs and requirements of each client. Leveraging CAL’s research capabilities and position as a full service investment bank: As a fully-fledged investment bank, CAL offers a diverse range of financial and investment products and services. Shanthikumar and her team are able to leverage on CAL’s strength as a market leader in listed debt and equities to get the first look at and get preferential access to the most attractive deals in the market. CAL’s dynamic research unit also significantly helps the team to assess market trends and identify opportunities that the team can capitalise on to yield higher returns for its clients. Commenting on how she took CAL’s Investment Management team to new heights, Shanthikumar stated: “When I returned to Sri Lanka, I didn’t have a strong network and didn’t have that many contacts. Many people and women in the workplace often feel that if you’re relatively new to a country, it’s significantly harder to find success, but that’s not always the case. Although it was definitely a challenge, I was able to acquire contacts over time and set up a strong investment management operation. Our team has continued to grow and excel in the last few years, becoming the largest mutual fund management team in the country. We have outperformed all of our competitors and our client focused approach and willingness to constantly innovate has helped us achieve success and growth. We hope to continue this momentum of growth and increase our market share further by strengthening our presence in boththe institutional, high-net-worth and retail investor spaces.”