MUMBAI: Asset manager Franklin Templeton on Tuesday said it is not leaving the country and will be rebuilding the crisis-hit brand here.
"I can say categorically that we are not leaving India. It would be silly to leave India," its president for India, Avinash Satwalekar, told reporters here.
Satwalekar acknowledged the speculation about the company following the footsteps of its other foreign peers in exiting India, especially after the Sebi action in the debt schemes, but made it clear that it has no such plan.
He said the company, which has a 26-year presence in the country, has over Rs 56,000 crore of assets under management (AUM) from 20 lakh investors and its operations are incredibly profitable.
Meanwhile, in its first fund launch in a decade, it announced the launch of a balanced advantage fund which will also be investing in fixed income opportunities.
Satwalekar said it will be regularly launching products over the next 6-12 months.
In November 2020, capital markets regulator Sebi had issued a show cause notice to the company following its April 2020 decision to wind up six debt schemes having Rs 25,000 crore of AUM from 3 lakh investors, citing liquidity challenges because of the pandemic.
Eventually, the company was asked to pay Rs 5 crore as penalty, return over Rs 450 crore collected as 22-month investment management and advisory fees, and was banned from launching new debt schemes for alleged irregularities in running six of its debt schemes.
It has challenged the Sebi order in the Securities Appellate Tribunal, which is yet to adjudicate on the matter.
Satwalekar, who took charge as the head of Franklin's operations here three months ago, said it will rebuild the brand, acknowledging that it has taken a 'beating' over the last two years following the regulatory action.
The company will be re-engaging with distributors, employees, and investors. It will also be investing in people, and physical presence in the country to capture new growth pockets and also be launching new products.