The Outlook Money Awards 2021 are finally out. Though there has been an unprecedented delay this time, we think it’s better late than never.
The Outlook Money Awards go to six winners across categories. Six other companies have been chosen in the Editor’s Choice Awards section for their exemplary contributions in their fields.
How We Went About It
To identify the categories, parameters, methodology and, finally, the winners, we consulted an expert panel of four jury members.
Our knowledge partner for the exercise was CareEdge, who ran the numbers, submitted by individual companies in some cases, and culled out from the respective websites in others.
Some of the categories we decided upon were dropped because there were too few nominations. Also, we have only considered companies that are not under any investigation from any of the regulators, according to information available in the public domain till September 2022.
The jury was headed by G.N. Bajpai, former chairman of the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) and former chairman of the Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC). He is renowned for his visionary leadership and exemplary integrity, and has spearheaded various reforms in the country.
Deena Mehta is the promoter of the Asit C. Mehta group of companies, on the board of the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), as well as the chairperson of IMC Capital Market Committee. She was the first woman president of the Bombay Stock Exchange and director on the board of BSE, among her previous stints.
Ajay Bagga, the executive chairman of OPC Asset Solutions, is among the most respected experts in the Indian financial industry. He has served on various financial industry committees and think tanks and has also been the chairman of the Financial Planning Standards Board of India, apart from heading asset management companies and other institutions in the past.
Sushant Bhansali, CEO of Ambit Asset Management, has over 18 years of experience. Before joining the asset management vertical, he led Ambit’s Principal Investment business for six years during which the team delivered superlative returns.
The categories chosen for the awards this time were Public Sector Bank of the Year, Private Sector Bank of the Year, Home Loan (Overall) Provider of the Year, Home Loan (Affordable) Provider of the Year, Debt Fund House of the Year, Equity Fund House of the Year, Life Insurer of the Year, Non-Life Insurer of the Year, and Institutional Financial Distributor of the Year.
Out of these, three categories—Home Loan (Overall) Provider of the Year, Home Loan (Affordable) Provider of the Year, and Institutional Financial Distributor of the Year—were dropped because of few nominations.
For the Editor’s Choice Awards, the categories were: Editor’s Choice Award for Innovative Approach to Investor Education, Editor’s Choice Award for Passive Fund House of the Year, Editor’s Choice Award for the Most Trusted Brand in Life Insurance, Editor’s Choice Award for the Most Trusted Brand in Non-Life Insurance, and Editor’s Choice Award for Retail Broker of the Year.
We added the Editor’s Choice Award for Institutional Financial Distributors towards the end.
For evaluating the applicants, the broad parameters have been tabulated below with their weightage and description
Public Sector Bank Of The Year: State Bank Of India
State Bank of India has demonstrated all-round performance during FY21 with stable growth in business, continued reach to customers, focus on digital transactions to cater to a significantly large customer base with stable financial performance, and stable asset quality. SBI is the largest commercial bank in terms of assets, deposits, branches, customers, and employees.
It is also the largest mortgage lender in the country, which has so far fulfilled the home buying dreams of over three million Indian families. The home loan portfolio of the bank stands at Rs 5.75 lakh crore. SBI has the largest network of 22,294 branches, and the number of customers using Internet banking and mobile banking stand at 104 million and 51 million, respectively.
Private Sector Bank Of The Year: Federal Bank Ltd
Federal Bank stood out on almost all of the parameters—from digital adaptability, customer reach to financial numbers. It is one of the best-placed old private sector banks.
Even during the Covid-19 pandemic, the bank was able to manage its asset quality well, and also reported a decent set of numbers in financial year 2020-21. It demonstrated all-round performance during FY21 with stable growth in the retail depositor base and improvement in financial performance with good operating metrics, asset quality, and product diversification.
Strong granular liability franchise and comfortable capital positioning made it stand out from its peers.
Equity Fund House Of The Year: Mirae Asset Investment Managers (India) Pvt. Ltd
It is crucial for investors to choose a fund house that can help them achieve their financial goals.
Mirae Asset Investment Managers scored on that account and is leading the equity pack, thanks to the startling outperformance of its funds.
The equity schemes of the fund house are on top of the chart, be it in the large-cap or mid-cap categories. A couple of its flagship equity schemes have completed more than 10 years of track record.
Consistency in performance and safety of capital are among the top objectives of the fund house. The fund house has not only scored in terms of providing good returns in equity, but also has a strong distribution network.
Debt Fund House Of The Year: IDFC Asset Management Co. Ltd
IDFC MF comfortably raced to the top spot on the back of superior performance. The efficient and energetic team has been instrumental in delivering better returns, while keeping risk under control.
A well-managed debt fund house is characterised not only by higher returns, but also the low credit risk. The fund house does not compromise on the tenure of the paper to boost returns. In terms of products, the fund house offers a range of debt products for all needs.
The stellar performance on the debt side has helped it make to the top slot.
Life Insurer Of The Year: ICICI Prudential Life Insurance Co. Ltd
ICICI Prudential Life Insurance demonstrated all-round performance on all parameters even in a tough year with Covid-19 playing havoc with people’s lives.
The company also leads in the life insurance space when it comes to customer centricity and reach. In terms of persistency ratio, one of the major parameters to judge customer-centricity, the insurer’s 13th month persistency for non-linked savings plans stands at 94 per cent.
It also has a strong distribution presence across India with over 600 partnerships, including 23 banks, apart from its own branches and over 185,000 advisors.
The company’s new business premium income during the year ended March 2021 was Rs 13,000 crore, showing an increase of 5.5 per cent over the previous year.
Non-Life Insurer Of The Year: Bajaj Allianz General Insurance Co. Ltd
Bajaj Allianz General Insurance has thrived in tough times, which is proven by its overall performance, scoring high on product offering, financial metrics and outreach.
It is one of the largest private insurers in India with offices in over 1,100 locations. The company serves close to 11 crore customers with the help of over 9,000 employees, a robust distribution network of more than 80,000 agents, almost 9,000 motor dealer partners, and over 240 bank partners.
The company also has a robust digital footprint and has reached over 1,000 new Tier-2 and Tier-3 towns across India using that expertise.
It has a strong focus on customer centricity and aims at delivering superior value to its customers.
Editor's Choice Award for Passive Fund House Of The Year: ICICI Prudential Asset Management Co. Ltd
ICICI Prudential Mutual Fund has taken giant strides in the passive investment side of the business. With nearly Rs 50,000 crore average assets under management (AAUM), as of June 2022, the fund house has about four dozen passive schemes spread across index funds, exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and fund of funds (FoFs) in the equity, debt, commodity, and hybrid asset classes.
At a scheme count level, this is one of the most comprehensive and biggest product bouquets in the MF industry. Just to give an idea: in the past one year alone, ended October 26, ICICI Pru MF has launched over a dozen passive schemes in the equity segment.
Editor's Choice Award for Innovative Approach to Investor Education: Aditya Birla Sunlife Asset Management Co. Ltd
That India’s mutual fund sector is becoming a formidable force to reckon with in the Indian capital markets is hardly a secret. Mutual fund corpuses have more than quintupled in the last 10 years to over Rs 38.22 lakh crore, at 18.84 per cent compounded annual growth rate (CAGR).
The major contributor to this growth is investor education. The contribution of Aditya Birla Sunlife mutual fund is commendable in this regard. The fund house has travelled the length and width of the country to financially educate people. They have also used different channels, platforms, languages, and engaged financial experts to foster financial awareness.
Editor's Choice Award for the Most Trusted Life Insurer Of The Year: Life Insurance Corporation Of India
LIC is the undisputed leader in this space, which commands the trust of around 30 crore policyholders. LIC is the largest life insurer in India, with a 64.1 per cent market share in terms of premium and 66.2 per cent market share in terms of new business premium (NBP). It also commands a lion share of 74.6 per cent market share in terms of the number of individual policies issued, and 81.1 per cent market share in terms of the number of group policies issued for the financial year 2021.
It has an enviable number of individual agents (1.35 million), which comprised 55 per cent of all individual agents in India as on September 30, 2021.
Editor's Choice Award for Most Trusted Non-Life Insurer Of The Year: The New India Assurance Co. Ltd
When it comes to general insurance, the first name that comes to mind is New India Assurance. It is a multinational general insurance company, as it operates in 26 countries.
It has been the market leader in India for non-Life business for more than 50 years. The company serves the insurance needs of Indians by offering a wide range of products (over 250) through 2,214 offices spread across India with 15,249 employees and 102,804 agents as of March 2021.
It is also noteworthy to mention that New India Assurance was the sole insurer to provide government-sponsored Covid covers to frontline health workers.
Editor's Choice Award For Retail Broker (Full Services) Of The Year: ICICI Securities Ltd
When it comes to equity broking, ICICI Securities is the pioneer. It has hogged the limelight since its inception. Over the years, it has graduated from being just an e-brokerage to a one-stop shop for personal finance products and services.
The direct connectivity between trading, demat and bank accounts makes transactions quicker and safer through the platform. It also sells health, home, overseas travel and life insurance products online.
ICICI Direct is also the first broker in India to introduce digitally signed contract notes. At present, it commands the trust of over seven million customers and 33, 000 business partners.
Editor’s Choice Award for Institutional Financial Distributor Of The Year: NJ India Invest Pvt. Ltd
Trust is important for building healthy personal as well as business relationships. This is the business philosophy that NJ India Invest follows. No wonder, this strategy has worked in its favour. NJ India Invest is the largest mutual fund distributor in India.
Over the years, NJ Group has diversified into other businesses, and today, it has a presence in businesses ranging from financial products distributor network, asset management, real estate, insurance broking, training and development, technology and others. Its pan-India presence puts it on the top.