Who is Abhijit Bhave? - Seasoned Wealth Management Executive

Current PositionMD & CEO, Equirus Wealth
LocationMumbai, India
EducationPGDM, IIM Lucknow; BE, VJTI Mumbai
Experience28+ years in wealth management
Notable RolesCEO, Fisdom Private Wealth; CEO, Karvy Private Wealth; Head of Private Banking, Deutsche Bank
SpecialtiesDigital transformation, customer-centric strategies, team building, product development
LanguagesEnglish, Hindi, Marathi

Abhijit Bhave began his professional journey as a Graduate Engineer Trainee at Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL) in Mumbai from 1993 to 1994. BPCL is a leading Indian public sector oil and gas company.

Bhave pursued his education alongside his early career. He earned a Bachelor of Engineering degree in Mechanical Engineering from Veermata Jijabai Technological Institute (VJTI) in Mumbai between 1989 and 1993. VJTI is one of the oldest engineering colleges in Asia and among the most prestigious in India.

Subsequently, Bhave obtained a Post Graduate Diploma in Management (PGDM) with specialization in Finance and Marketing from the esteemed Indian Institute of Management, Lucknow (IIM Lucknow) from 1994 to 1996. IIM Lucknow is one of India's top business schools.

Early Roles in Banking and Asset Management

After completing his management education, Bhave took on the role of Manager - Institutional Marketing at Unit Trust of India Asset Management Company (UTI AMC) in Mumbai from 1996 to 1997. UTI is one of India's largest asset management companies.

Bhave then moved to ICICI Bank, where he served as Deputy Manager in Corporate Banking and Cash Management from 1997 to 2000 in Mumbai. ICICI Bank is India's largest private sector bank by consolidated assets.

Ascending Leadership Roles at HSBC

In 2000, Bhave joined global banking giant HSBC. Over a seven-year tenure until 2007, he took on increasing leadership responsibilities across Mumbai and New Delhi offices:

  • Branch Manager
  • Regional Head - Recognized as the top-performing Regional Head in 2007
  • National Sales Head

Transformational Leadership at Deutsche Bank

Bhave's next major career move was to Deutsche Bank, where he served as Head of Private Banking, Investments, and National Sales as well as Co-Head of Wealth Management for Habubank in Vietnam from 2007 to 2015.

Some key highlights:

  • Transformed business performance by redefining client value proposition, mentoring teams, enhancing product and channel management, and boosting cross-selling
  • Relaunched Habubank's wealth management business in Vietnam, setting up flagship branch, customizing structured products, training teams, and building key partnerships
  • Strategized and implemented a wealth management technology solution in collaboration with Oracle to increase profitability and streamline revenue and expense management

Building India's Fastest-Growing Wealth Management Business

In 2015, Bhave took over as CEO for India and the Middle East at Karvy Private Wealth, a role he held until 2021 based in Mumbai. Under his leadership, Karvy became India's fastest-growing wealth management entity within 5 years, winning multiple industry awards.

Bhave's strategic initiatives included:

  • Providing direction to cross-functional teams across 30 locations in India and 2 in the Middle East
  • Developing solutions across asset classes aligned to market trends and client risk profiles
  • Driving long-term growth through product development, client acquisition and P&L management
  • Turning around the business by redefining corporate mission and values, mitigating risk, optimizing client experience, boosting employee ownership and shareholder value

Pioneering WealthTech Leadership

Bhave's next role was as Chief Executive Officer at Fisdom Private Wealth, a WealthTech startup, from 2021 to 2023. He led the company to significant client and AUM growth within just over a year by combining technology and financial expertise.

Key accomplishments included:

  • Strategizing business, technology, client experience, product and operations for accelerated growth
  • Devising brand management and digital marketing to enhance perception
  • Penetrating new markets, launching products, and widening client base with a 60-member team

Current Role Leading Equirus Wealth

Since July 2023, Bhave is serving as Managing Director and CEO of Equirus Wealth in Mumbai. Equirus is the wealth management arm of Equirus Group, a leading Indian financial services firm. In this role, Bhave leads wealth management, asset management, HNI broking and digital wealth businesses.

Some current responsibilities include:

  • Collaborating with in-house investment banking to manage entrepreneur wealth via family office
  • Partnering with Federal Bank to offer global investment solutions in India and Middle East
  • Leveraging in-house research for customized asset management and stock broking for HNI/UHNI clients

Volunteer Work and Certifications

Alongside his corporate career, Bhave has been volunteering with the Art of Living Foundation since 2012, providing coaching to graduate students in Mumbai colleges to help them understand and achieve their life goals.

Bhave is also AMFI (Association of Mutual Funds in India) and IRDA (Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India) certified, demonstrating his expertise in mutual funds and insurance.