Queen Of Financial Market- Lakshmi Iyer The last two decades have nothing less than being a roller coaster ride for Lakshmi Iyer, CEO, Kotak Investment Advisors, given the way markets have behaved. Markets are Iyer's lifeline and she considers the world of financial services super exciting.

By Priya Kapoor

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Lakshmi Iyer, CEO, Kotak Investment Advisor

Before taking on the mantle of Kotak's investment advisory business, Lakshmi Iyer was associated with the group's AMC arm for over two decades leading fixed income investments as well as products vertical. Her role involved conceptualizing and executing investment strategy across fixed income funds. It also involved conceiving various product initiatives across asset classes for the firm.

"As CIO, the key was to deliver superior risk adjusted performance. Equally important was to communicate the house in a very lucid manner sans jargons – a trait which very few really have', says Iyer.

But where were the seeds of money management sown in her? School? No, Iyer chuckles. "It was when I joined Credence Analytics, where I started off researching the bond markets in India, that I got to marry markets and technology to be able to offer front office solutions to treasuries in India. Since then there has been no looking back," explains Iyer.

The last two decades have nothing less than being a roller coaster ride for Iyer given the way markets have behaved. "From Lehman collapse, to ILFs crises, we have been navigating the uncertain seas to ensure we only rise stronger. The high point was in April 2020 when we saw a fund house wind down a few of its schemes which led to panic across the MF industry. During that time, focusing on risk adjusted return held us in good stead most times. When there were large redemptions in the credit category mutual funds, we ensured to keep portfolio rating mix intact to the extent possible. This gave a lot of confidence to all stakeholders leading to higher wallet share," says Iyer.

Foraying into money management where women participation is extremely meagre was in itself a big barrier to break, for Iyer.

"Firstly reminding yourself that this role is gender agnostic was very important. Next adding value was important. Once the outcome was evident, it wasn't any more about gender," says Iyer.

Markets are Iyer's lifeline and she considers the world of financial services super exciting. For women wishing to enter the world of finance, Iyer advises to scan the opportunities and seize them all: "Women bring in EQ alongside IQ and hence have demonstrated strong investment traits as well. I would advise them to never quit. No limit can bend you. It's all in the mind."

Priya Kapoor

Feature Editor

Priya holds more than a decade of experience in journalism. She has worked on various beats and was chosen as a Road Safety Fellow in 2018, wherein she produced many in-depth & insightful features on road crashes in India. She writes on startups, personal finance and Web3. Outside of work, she likes gardening, driving and reading. She can be reached at her email id: kpriya@entrepreneurindia.com




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