Jain, poster boy of MF industry, quits HDFC Mutual Fund after 19 years – Times of India

MUMBAI: Prashant Jain, one of the longest serving mutual fund managers in the country, quit HDFC Mutual Fund (MF), days after three of his funds, together with one managed for a foreign investor, crossed the Rs 1 lakh crore assets under management (AUM) milestone. Jain had come to HDFC MF after it acquired Zurich MF in 2003 and had been its chief investment officer (CIO) since mid-2004.
With Jain moving out of the fund house, the CIO post will be split between Chirag Setalvad as its head of equities and Shobhit Mehrotra as its head of debt, HDFC MF said.

During Jain’s stint at HDFC MF, when the fund house consistently remained among the country’s largest in terms of AUM, he had bu- ilt a huge following among investors and market players. It was his style of fund management — the ability to pick up the relevant sounds from noises — that distinguished him from others. Often he would identify winners and losers very early during the market phase, and despite huge peer pressure would either cash out winners early or not even touch ultimate losers.
Jain fund management style, however, often led to periods of underperformance, which gave ammunition to his critics to aim at him. However, he justified those periods as the ones when he was waiting to identify the next winner. There are industry veterans who appreciated Jain’s resolve to stick to his investment style that made huge money for the investors who stayed with him for years.
For example, in Balanced Advantage Fund that he managed since 1994, average annual return (technically called CAGR or compound annual growth rate) was nearly 18%. This translated to doubling of investors’ money every four years. Similarly in Flexi Cap fund, the CAGR is nearly 21% since 2003, while in Top 100 it’s about 17% since early 2002.
While the industry wants to know where Jain is headed after such a long stint as a public fund manager, he’s not speaking about his plans yet.

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