PMS Rating

IME PMS Rating

4 of 5 stars

Highly recommended for more conservative investors: ASK has a number of positives, which has led to them becoming the market leader. Strict adherence to a clearly defined investment policy, along with a strong & stable in-house grown investment team, is what helps set them apart and deliver consistent and attractive long-term returns. The majority stake (75%) of ASK's asset management business was acquired by Blackstone in Feb-22. We have recently downgraded ASK's rating to 4-star, keeping in mind the sharp underperfomance since 2022 (which we believe should be transitory in nature). As performance comes back, ASK's rating could be upgraded to a 5-star.

The PMS/AIF AMC Rating is derived on the basis of our analysis on 5 key qualitative parameters that we use to analyse the quality of a PMS/AIF Provider. These include an assessment of the size of the AMC, the pedigree of the AMC, the pedigree of the team, the value of the investment philosophy & the level of differentiation. These insights of our central research team are documented in the IME RMS, and can be accessed during a consultation call with an IME PMS specialist.

PMS Background

Discretionary AUM (24438cr) | Promoter Category ()

PMS Background

ASK is the largest PMS in India, as well as being one of the oldest, having started operations in 1983 by Asit Koticha. ASK has a singular focus on listed Indian equities via discretionary equity mandates, with a strong focus on mindset & philosophy alignment with their clients. As one of the oldest & most respected PMS houses, ASK is known for its disciplined adherence to its investment philosophy & processes on the back of a strong and stable research team.

Investment Philosophy

ASK’s investment philosophy revolves around 2 key aspects: capital protection followed by capital appreciation. The aim is to invest in high-quality businesses, run by high-quality management with sustained long-term growth prospects at a reasonable price. The focus is on certainty & consistency of earnings (vs. mere quantum of earnings growth) & buying high quality at a reasonable price (vs. buying mediocre companies at value prices).

Inv Team

Investment Team

Chetan Thacker | 4-star rated FM

Fund Manager | 17 yrs Experience | 9 yrs at current firm

Past Experience: Emkay Global (Analyst), HSBC InvestDirect (Analyst), McKinsey (Analyst)

With a strong equity research background, Chetan has sector research expertise in agriculture, chemicals, metals & mining and midcaps

Sumit Jain | 4-star rated FM

CIO | 18 yrs Experience | 18 yrs at current firm

Past Experience: First Global (Analyst)

Sumit has been with the ASK group for over 15 years, having started as an analyst to now being responsible for managing portfolios. Prior to joining ASK, Sumit worked as an analyst at First Global tracking the US macroeconomy and the FMCG sector.

Kuldeep Gangwar | 4-star rated FM

Portfolio Manager | 22 yrs Experience | 6 yrs at current firm

Past Experience: Equity Research Analyst – India Consumer and Retail (HSBC), Engineer (Tata Motors)

Kuldeep Gangwar comes with 17 years of experience including 14 years in the Indian capital market. Kuldeep has a decade of experience as a sell-side Equity Analyst for the consumer sector (FMCG & Retail) at HSBC Securities. Kuldeep has been with ASK since 2018. He is an MBA (Finance) from IIT Bombay and B.Tech from IIT Roorkee. He is also a CFA Charterholder.

Bhavesh Kanani | 4-star rated FM

Fund Manager | 20 yrs Experience | 11 yrs at current firm

Past Experience: Assistant VP (Centrum Institutional Research), Research Analyst (Sharekhan), Research Associate (Bank of America, Citigroup Investment Research and Aranca)

Bhavesh Kanani comes with over 15 years of experience. Prior to joining ASK Group in 2013, Bhavesh was an Assistant VP at Centrum Institutional Research, and has previously held the role of Research Analyst/Associates across various financial companies (Sharekhan, Bank of America, Citigroup etc). Bhavesh holds an MBA from ICFAI Business School and a bachelor’s from the Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda.

Sandip Bansal | 4-star rated FM

Senior Portfolio Manager | 21 yrs Experience | 3 yrs at current firm

Past Experience: FM & Head Investment Research (SBI Life), Sell-side Research Analyst (UBS, KIE)

Sandip has 18 years of work experiene (14 of which have been in equity research). Sandip has a strong research & fund management experience, having worked as Fund Manager & Head of Research at SBI Life Insurance prior to joining ASK. Prior to SBI Life, Sandip worked at the sell side with UBS & KOtak Securities. Sandip in a CA and an MBA (IIM-A)

Bharat Shah | 5-star rated FM

Executive Director | 32 yrs Experience | 16 yrs at current firm

Bharat Shah is a highly respected investments professional, having overseen the growth of ASK PMS to the largest PMS in India over 2 decades. Prior to joining ASK, Bharat Shah was a very well respected equity fund manager at Birla PMS, known for large wealth creation in IT picks. Bharat Shah has been on the board of ASK since 2008.

PMS/AIF Schemes

PMS & Listed Equity AIF Schemes

Scheme Category Style 1 yr 3 yr 5 yr Since Inc
ASK Lighthouse
ASK Emerging Opportunities Mid & Smallcap GARP 29.4 12.6 17.4 12.2
ASK Financial Opportunities BFSI Sectoral 19.5 6.3 11.3 6.9
ASK Select Large & Midcap GARP 31.7 13.7 14.2 15.6
ASK Indian Entrepreneur (IEP) Large & Midcap GARP 28.2 12.7 15.3 17.3
ASK Growth Large & Midcap GARP 30.6 12.7 15.4 18.9

Returns as of 28-Feb-24.

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Note: PMS AMC & Scheme Reviews and Ratings are based on IME Capital’s Proprietary Review and Rating Methodology (read more here: AMC Rating & Scheme Ratings). These reflect the unbiased views of our central research team, based on our assessment of the investment value of these PMS/AIF strategies for our investors. We follow a highly stringent rating-criteria, where approximately 50% of PMS AMC’s & strategies would be rated 2-star or below (this is not meant to indicate that these funds are not investment-worthy, but that they do not currently fulfill the requirements we focus on for recommending funds to our investors — based on our internal views on the merit of the AMC/strategy relative to peers). Reviews & Ratings are primarily based on research of publicly available information (SEBI disclosures, PMS websites, PMS-aggregation platforms, webinar recording, media interviews etc.) and no explicit consent is required from AMCs for the same. While we endeavour to do further due-diligence via direct interactions with the investment teams of AMCs, this is typically restricted to AMC’s that meet our foundational fund selection criteria (reviews on lower-rated AMCs are often based solely on publicly available information). The views reflected in our Reviews & Ratings, are our independent views and may not be shared by the AMC’s and the investment teams. Please read detailed disclaimer for more.