Amit Tripathi's hands are full. As Head of Fixed Income at Reliance Mutual Fund, he supervises the management of all its debt schemes, which together have assets under management (AUM) of Rs 64,000 crore.
Handling such a diverse set of funds is a demanding task. One fund requires generating regular income over the long-term, another manages very short-term money mostly from banks and corporates, and yet another calls for a passive buy-andhold approach.
But Tripathi pulls off his responsibilities with aplomb. "With adequate discipline and market experience, a fund manager will be able to operate across yield curves and credit curves," he says.
The soft-spoken and genial Tripathi is known for his aggressive investment style. "A fund manager handling a dynamic bond fund needs to aggressively move the scheme duration in line with his view on rates and the interest rate curve," he says. Fund managers alter the average duration of bonds, according to expectations of the future direction of interest rates.
If the rate is expected to fall, the fund manager buys bonds of longer duration and sells those of shorter duration. Tripathi says positioning his funds early for a declining interest rate scenario through active duration management was the key to their outperformance.
Most of the actively managed debt funds (Reliance Liquidity, Reliance Money Manager and Reliance Floating Rate Shortterm) by Tripathi have returned 9 per cent or more in fiscal 2013 compared with the category average of 8.7 per cent. This is impressive given that these funds offer an alternative to bank savings deposits, which offer between 4 and 7 per cent annual interest.
Tripathi, who became fund manager at the age of 28, says he has learnt all the tricks of the trade from his seniors and fellow fund managers. His mantra for success as a fund manager is "discipline and method".