The Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst (CAIA) Association, a global leader in alternative investment education, is marking the opening of its first liaison office in India. “Our ties to the India market date back to our first class of Candidates in 2003,” said William J. Kelly, CEO of the CAIA Association. “The growth and potential in the Indian alternatives marketplace are enormous, particularly given the recent developments by the SEBI around a more organized structure for Alternative Investment Funds (“AIFs”). We are pleased to have launched this office, and are now better able to work towards establishing and maintaining relationships in the industry and developing partnerships that help promote CAIA and alternative investment education.”
Located in Mumbai and led by Shreekant Daga, Associate Director, India Liaison Office, and a CAIA Charter holder, this new office will facilitate in managing relationships for professionals at all experience levels in the Indian alternative investment community.
According to recent data from the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), assets in India-based “alternative investment funds” (AIFs), which include hedge funds, private equity funds and other alternative vehicles, saw their assets approximately double from March 31, 2017, to March 31, 2018.1 Seeing particularly strong asset growth were private equity and debt-focused vehicles, which account for approximately 2/3 of all the assets in India’s AIFs, while hedge fund-style vehicles saw the largest percent increase in their assets, growing by approximately 160% year-over-year.
Preqin reports that alternative assets under management for the Asia-Pacific region, excluding India, totaled US $598 billion as of the end of 2016, which private capital AUM in India totaled approximately US $42 billion at that same point in time. Hedge fund AUM in Asia-Pacific ex-India was US $137 billion as of the end of 2016, while hedge fund assets in India totaled US $1.4 billion at the time.
Daga’s responsibilities will be providing information to those in alternatives about all that CAIA has to offer, planning networking events, and forging relationships with Indian universities, regulators and other educational organizations. He previously held senior positions with India Ratings & Research (a Fitch Group Company), Deutsche Bank, ICICI Bank, and others.
“The thought of opening an office in India has been on CAIA’s strategic agenda for several years,” said Ms. Murphy. “We could not be more pleased to move to the execution phase of this strategy particularly at a time when access to AIF products continues to ramp up at a very impressive rate. We are fortunate to have Shreekant on the ground and his direct knowledge of our curriculum and demonstrated a commitment to investment education, will serve our mission very well as this market continues to grow.”
On 27 September, to mark the official inauguration of this new office, Mr. Kelly joined Ms. Murphy, Mr. Daga and other senior CAIA representatives in Mumbai for an educational event focused on the burgeoning industry in India. Speakers included: Navneet Munot, CIO, SBI Funds Management, Shahzad Madon, Head PMS & Alternative Assets, Reliance Nippon Life Asset Management Ltd., Akshay Mansukhani, Managing Partner, Malabar Investments, as well as CAIA India Chapter Head, Jainendra Shandilya, Adjunct Professor, National Institute of Securities Markets.
The CAIA Association offers the only credential focused on the alternative investment space and has become the global benchmark for alternative investment education. The CAIA Charter, an educational designation uniquely designed for individuals specializing in institutional-quality alternative investments, is granted upon successful completion of two levels of qualifying exams combined with relevant professional experience and joining the Association membership.
The Association now supports 30 global Chapters in financial centers in Europe, Asia-Pacific and North America, as well as a Virtual Chapter that brings together Members from far-flung locations in more than 60 countries. CAIA sponsors more than 250 educational and networking events each year and has 61 academic and association partnerships in the Americas, EMEA, and the Asia Pacific region.
In 2018 alone, CAIA has announced two important new initiatives: the launch of the Chartered Alternative Data Analyst Institute, which will focus on the future of investment analysis and decision making in an increasingly digitized financial services world; and an innovative pilot program with the CFA Institute that will allow a select number of CFA members to move directly to Level II of the rigorous CAIA exam program.